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“If you can increase organic matter levels, you can reduce your nitrogen usage...” — Jim Hoorman, Ohio
NEW IDEAS, NEW CONCEPTS. Natural Resources Conservation Services conservation agronomist Ray Archuleta stresses the importance of improving soil health in no-till rotations.
Since you’re managing a complex ecosystem that includes millions of organisms both above and below ground, Ray Weil says no-tillers need to add “ecologist “to their farming title. The soil scientist at the University of Maryland extols the virtues of earthworms, which incorporate organic matter and burrows that improve soil drainage, aeration and filtration.
“When your neighbors have water standing on their fields, they blame compaction,” he says. “However, they probably don’t have earthworms either.”
The benefit of investing in the latest fast-moving precision ag technologies is that these products offer no-tillers an economic edge where investment returns will continue for years, says Dietrich Kastens. The Herndon, Kan., no-tiller says no-till and precision ag technology follow similar adoption rates with the key questions being whether these investments will pay off and how fast the payback be.