Crop Practices Input Sought

No-tillers trying new crops or looking for better techniques seek advice from experienced growers who have faced similar challenges.

Whether it's managing residue or growing a cover crop ahead of alfalfa, details about what has worked on other farms offers a head start toward success. Growers asking for valuable input often find answers at Farmers’ Forum, the online bulletin board at As always, we’ll share some of that information here.

Double Crop After Wheat

What works best for planting into wheat stubble? I have Lilliston Spyders on the front of my planter. My problem is that in 100 bushel per acre wheat, it’s hard to run them low enough without taking out clumps of root balls. If you don’t run them low enough, the residue likes to hairpin. Would a coulter alone be better? I was thinking about trying a row stalker to snip off the roots and clear a path. I’m no-tilling sunflowers into the wheat stubble.

—Plains Drifter

I think row cleaners would be the best option. I no-tilled doublecrop milo into 100-bushel wheat straw on June 27, the day after wheat was harvested. It worked great. I am running Martin row cleaners with Martin closers. I have a John Deere single-disc fertilizer coulter running out front and 2 inches to the side, which might help somewhat. I believe it is much easier to plant in wheat straw now than next spring after the stubble has partially decomposed.

The row stalker would be worth a try. However, you will probably still hairpin without brushing the loose straw aside. I leave the roots intact when running the…

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