4 In-Season Tools that Lead to Better No-Till Crops

Mid season scouting, foliar applications and new tools like plant sap analysis could help no-tillers get bigger yields or refine their fertility programs for future seasons.

Successful No-Tillers don’t rest on their laurels once the seed is in the ground.

Weed control is being implemented, and most growers have a plan to protect their crops from insect pests and diseases. The best no-tillers continue to monitor their crop throughout the season to ensure their nutritional needs are being met.

Here are four things no-tillers should be doing during the summer months to make sure their crop is the best it can be come harvest.

1. More Scouting.

Mid season scouting is important for growers in identifying and correcting a pest or disease problem, recognize nutrient deficiencies or other crop malaise issues such as yellowing or stunting.

In soybeans scout for aphids, bean leaf beetles and Japanese beetles, while in corn scout for rootworm flights.

When it comes to scouting for diseases, warm and humid weather conditions and variety resistance often dictate whether a disease will appear. In soybeans, watch for brown spot, frogeye leaf spot and Cercospora leaf blight, and in corn watch anthracnose, gray leaf spot, northern corn leaf blight and rust.

2. Tissue Testing.

Many growers rely on soil tests to guide how much fertilizer to apply to crops during the growing season.

But a soil test is only a predictor of a possible nutrient response or deficiency. It doesn’t tell you if the crop will respond or not, so we take it on faith that soil-test values and fertilizer recommendations provide the crop with its proper nutrition.

Many things can happen to nutrients…

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Davidson_daniel

Daniel Davidson

Veteran farm advisor and agronomist Daniel Davidson no-tills near Stanton, Nebraska, and works as a private consultant.

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