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Spring 2009, Take Two In 2010

Experts offer advice for no-tillers once again contending with a slew of issues this spring stemming from a late, wet harvest

Déjà vu. No-tillers probably felt it this fall as they battled rain and then raced to beat the snow getting crops harvested, just like 2008.

Two bad falls with a challenging spring sandwiched in the middle means no-tillers will need to put some thought into how they will face issues this spring. Matt Johnson of Johnson Family Farms had plenty on his mind as of mid-November.

“We’ve only been able to complete half the acres of fall burndown and applied only a small part of our hi-cal lime needs,” the no-tiller from Redkey, Ind., says. “We planted less wheat than normal and we haven’t been able to clean or clear any fencerows or do any tile repair work.”

On the plus side, Johnson scraped through harvest with few ruts or compaction concerns. Others struggled.

The day before Thanksgiving, no-tiller Murray McKee was still struggling with corn harvest on his farm just outside Des Moines, Iowa.

“I’ve combined not quite half of my corn and we’ve just had an inch of rain on ground that was just dry enough to get over following a 0.3-inch rain a few days earlier,” he reports. “A 1.3-inch rain won’t dry very quickly this time of year, especially since it came on ground with a full soil-moisture profile.

“I don’t know how long it will be before I get back into the fields again.”

Another no-tiller reported in on Thanksgiving Day to say he hadn’t even started corn harvest. Unfortunately, many producers fought the harvest…

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