“No one’s ever accused me of being completely normal,” is the claim often made by no-tiller Dave Savage. And there’s good reason.
This crop consultant from Farley, Iowa, has tried almost every possible scenario when it comes to early planting dates, earning him the “distinguished” place of being the butt of many no-till jokes and the cause for many elbows to the ribs.
But believe it or not, there’s is a method to his madness—and the metamorphism of snickers and sneers to asking questions and learning has begun. And all of this is thanks to his persistence of pushing the no-till envelope just a little further.
“The philosophy I take with early planting dates with no-till is we have this cold soil curse that seems to dog us with corn yields,” he says.
“I came to the conclusion that if I can back my corn planting date off until it warms up a little bit more and get into that first week of May, we can get these picture-perfect, picket-fence stands of corn. So I thought I’d rather sacrifice some stand to get the planting date benefit.
“We have the unique opportunity with no-till to take advantage of cold soils.”
But Savage was more interested in working with the planting dates of soybeans. He says the premise for early planting is based on the idea that if soybeans could be planted into cold ground, it would act like a cold storage unit that would preserve the…