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

Q: I’m considering purchasing a new planter with splitter units. I have drilled soybeans since 1986 with few problems. What’s your advice?

A: If you are not having any no-till drilling problems, don’t change. One difficulty that will occur with a planter is if you want to plant corn in the morning and soybeans in the afternoon, then switch back to corn the next morning.

It takes a considerable amount of time to switch back and forth and this might prevent you from completing planting in a timely manner.

Q: What does paratilling (14 to 16 inches deep) do after eight years of no-tilling? Should it be done to eliminate compaction from no-tilling in a wet year?

A: Where topsoil is deeper than 16 inches, I would not have a problem paratilling. The disturbance of soil will be minimal.

In no-till, it is critical to avoid any operation that can cause compaction. With the soil covered with residue, which blocks the sun’s rays, compaction will stay around much longer in no-till. If you can paratill in dry conditions, this would be beneficial.

Q: I have a Kinze 12-row planter equipped with John Deere units and want to switch to no-till. I live in northern Illinois and rotate corn and soybeans on black dirt. Do I have to purchase both residue movers and

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