The No-Till Answer Man!

As part of this continuing series, an Indiana farmer tackles your most frequently asked no-tilling questions.

Here are my thoughts on questions recently asked by No-Till Farmer readers. Remember that your particular farming circumstances may result in entirely different answers to these particular concerns.

Q: Several new insecticides on the market are priced less than our old standbys. Do you bite on cheap prices?

A: Do your homework. Look for independent tests and evaluate the results closely. Watch out for sales pitches.

Q: What effect do high value crops, such as seed corn, have on no-till compared with conventional tillage?

A: In our area, seed corn companies require you to do some tillage with corn after corn. If you’re rotating with soybeans, green beans or wheat, you should have the disease cycle broken up enough that you could no-till seed corn. But make sure that your soils are warmed up enough so the parent lines get off to a fast start.

There’s not a wide variety of herbicides to use on seed corn. So if you’re going to no-till seed corn, be sure the herbicide you use will work and is legal.

One seed corn company has a large acreage of seed grown in our area under center pivot irrigation. Since we had an unusually wet fall, they harvested immediately after a rain and ruined several fields due to equipment rutting. They’ve done a lot of tillage to cover it up and break up the resulting compaction.

If they’d waited just 2 days to dry out these sandy soils, they wouldn’t have seen any major rutting…

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