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More and more growers each year are no-tilling soybeans. If you are not already planting your soybeans no-till, University of Illinois Natural Resources educator Bob Frazee says there are seven important reasons why you may want to consider no-tilling them next spring.
1. Due to extremely wet soil conditions and delayed corn maturity this fall, corn harvest for most producers is at least 3 weeks behind normal. "Once corn harvest is finally completed, the saturated soils will still make it difficult for producers to conduct fall tillage without causing major soil compaction problems for next year," Frazee says. "This untouched corn stalk residue will provide an ideal environment for no-tilling your 2010 soybean crop next spring."
2. In 2009, Roundup-resistant soybean varieties were planted on more than 90% of Illinois soybean fields. "The Roundup herbicide program saves valuable time and tillage trips, while at the same time providing excellent grass and broadleaf weed control throughout the season," Frazee says.
3. High diesel fuel prices have encouraged many producers to eliminate the deep ripping or chiseling of last year’s corn stalks in the fall and the secondary tillage trips in the spring.
4. Over the past several years, the major equipment manufacturers have made tremendous improvements in their no-till soybean planters and drills, resulting in excellent soybean seed placement and depth control.
5. No-till soybean fields continue to yield as good as or better than conventionally or mulch-tilled soybean fields, resulting in higher profits.
6. No-till soybeans can be a very…