If you’ve only just begun to no-till, are discouraged by the results and are flirting with the idea of switching back to conventional tilling, you might want to consider a couple of factors before you make a rash decision.
Basing your future operations on the first few years of using this new practice is the most common mistake rookie no-tillers make, according to University of Kentucky soil scientist Lloyd Murdock, who is located at Princeton, Ky.
“When you start no-tilling soil that’s been tilled, a lot of times people aren’t satisfied with the results,” says Murdock. “One of the reasons they’re not quite satisfied is because they haven’t stayed with it long enough. It takes awhile for things to happen.”
Since the movement toward no-till is relatively fresh in most farming circles, part of the problem is a lack of long-term test and research plots. That was until now.
“Most experiments are set up for a year, at most two or three years and at the maximum five years,” Murdock noted. “When you start looking at and comparing soil changes, there are a lot of things that you’re not going to see in five years which you will eventually see in 15 or 20 years.”
Murdock and his associates at the University of Kentucky have been studying no-till plots side-by-side with conventionally tilled plots and measuring the results for over 20 years. Their results more than prove that sticking with no-till will pay off in the long term.…