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“Over a 10-year period, we increased soil organic matter from 0.6% to 1.2% with no-till...”— Joe Bradford, Agricultural Research Service, Weslaco, Texas
NONSTOP LEARNING. Well after her general session presentation concluded, soil microbiologist Jill Clapperton continues to field questions from no-tillers in hotel hallways.
Try to keep your no-till planting speed at less than 5 mph, suggests Scott Davidson. The no-tiller from Bethany, Ill. (an attendee of all 25 National No-Tillage Conferences), says most planters are designed to drop a 30,000 population at 4½ mph.
Davidson also says to avoid calibrating your no-till planter at 4½ mph when you will be planting at 7 mph.
Recognize that heavy clay soils respond slower to management, says Dan Towery of the Conservation Technology Information Center in West Lafayette, Ind. Since adding no-till soybeans to a rotation results in less carbon, he suggests seeding a cover crop following soybean harvest.
Towery says a single pass with a chisel plow can erase much of the potential for carbon accumulation in no-tilled fields.