Whatever your age, change can be hard to accept. Sometimes it even takes some gentle prodding before you’ll change your ways.
Blair, Neb., no-tiller Tim Andersen admits it wasn’t easy for him or his father, Merle, to convert to no-tillage.
“The government pretty much forced us to no-till because we have highly erodible land,” says Tim Andersen, who first tried no-till in 1988. “We rented a John Deere drill and no-tilled 50 acres of soybeans into corn stalk stubble.
“My dad cussed and said this was never going to work. Then we got a heavy rain and the no-till soybeans didn’t wash and the conventionally tilled beans in other fields did.”
The next year, the Andersens no-tilled more soybeans. After three years, they bought a soybean drill because they could see no-till was the way to go. While no-tilling soybeans into corn stubble was working well, Tim knew no-tilling corn into soybean stubble was going to be much harder.
“Everybody is pushing the corn-planting window earlier into April,” he says. “The ground is cold and with that trash on top, the soil just stays cold and wet.
“I think the biggest drawback of no-till is the cold soil temperatures in the spring. But we’re able to move the residue away with row cleaners.
“That puts black soil over the seed and it warms up much quicker. The corn emerges real well.”
The Andersens strongly believe you need row cleaners on your no-till planter if you want to…