With nearly 650 leading-edge farmers, researchers and suppliers on hand for the 13th annual National No-Tillage Conference, the event again revealed what’s coming on strong in the no-tilling industry.
Cover crops, for example — especially annual ryegrass. Based on the surging interest in the subject, you can expect to see much more ryegrass in the fields in seasons to come as knowledgeable no-tillers refine their practices.
More than 180 no-tillers attended the presentation “Cashing In On Cover Crops For Soil Quality And Erosion Control,” making it easily the most popular of the 12 classroom sessions offered at the NNTC, held in Cincinnati, Jan. 12-15.
The cover crop classroom was led by Barry Fisher, coordinator of the Indiana Conservation Tillage Initiative, and highly regarded no-tiller Dan DeSutter of Attica, Ind. Together they outlined the benefits of annual ryegrass and its astounding root development, including: improved soil structure, tilth and drainage; increased organic matter and nutrient availability; and reduced erosion, weed pressure and allelopathy.
They also offered the cardinal rules of ryegrass management, including removing the ryegrass in early spring, using residual herbicides and applying plenty of early nitrogen. (For details on ryegrass cover crops, please see Pages 6 and 7 of the December 2004 issue of No-Till Farmer.)
As further evidence of the keen interest in the subject, a group discussion about “Capitalizing On Cover Crops” drew about 40 no-tillers, making it one of the best-attended of the 60 Roundtable sessions at the NNTC.
Also, the Oregon Ryegrass Commission — an…