What's the biggest no-till mistake you've made, and what did you learn from it?

A: “The biggest no-till mistake I made was burning straw that I didn’t think I could seed through. It cost me yield from the lack of ground cover for 2 years, and 3 long nights of burning that were less than safe. Never again.”

— Troy LaForge, Cadillac, Saskatchewan

A: “Biggest problem was broadcasting liquid nitrogen (N) onto corn ground. The N was tied up with the residue and unavailable to the growing corn. Liquid N needs to be in the soil, so I will be banding it in this spring.”

— Stephen Derks King City, Mo.

A: “My biggest mistake was to be so lost in the philosophy of not tilling that I didn’t repair problems like gullies and compaction. If not properly managed these problems only get worse. Deep tillage and cover crops can return isolated trouble spots to successful no-till. I now till only when necessary and no-till the other 99% of the time.”

— Mark Graber Delavan, Ill.

A: “Our biggest mistake was planting when the soil was too wet. Stay out! There’s no fixing for it for the year.”

— Martin Waldner Kimball, S.D.

A: “I think my biggest mistake was setting row cleaners too low in my early years of no-tilling. Moving soil with row cleaners is a common mistake in my area and results in water running down the rows and washing seed out in fields planted up and down slopes after heavy rains.

“The best remedy is to take the time at…

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