Cover Crops

No-Till, Cereal Rye Help Improve Crops on Sloping Fields

Randy Linville, who with his nephew, Dan, no-tills 1,700 acres of corn and soybeans near DeKalb, Mo., discusses how no-tilling, terraces and cereal rye seeded as a cover crop has sharply reduced soil erosion on their hilly terrain, and how a dedicated grid sampling program is helping the family get more bang for the buck with their fertilizer dollars.
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ROUNDTABLE

What are you currently doing, or have you done, to help break down residue more effectively ahead of no-tilling spring crops?

“In 20-inch rows I added narrow-profile Yetter SharkTooth row cleaners this year and next year I plan to add Precision Planting’s CleanSweep technology to the row cleaners to adjust them on the go and not move as much soil and more of just the residue.
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Early Maturities, Cover Crops Can Help Tough No-Till Soils Flourish

Research on two southern Illinois farms shows the potential of using early maturity crops to establish covers sooner and boost yields in poorly drained, drought-prone, underperforming fields.
Randy McElroy sees the tough soils sometimes from behind sunglasses, because when the ground dries out completely it can be a white as a sand beach in Florida.
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Mushroom Compost, No-Tilling Supercharge Soil Health Levels

For many farmers, rebuilding the level of organic matter in their soils is a process that can take many years, oftentimes only seeing small gains. But Kennett Square, Pa., no-tiller Jamie Hicks has seen the organic matter in some of his soils rocket from 1% to up to 5% in a relatively short period of time by spreading mushroom compost.
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Less is More: No-Tillers Weigh in on Nitrogen Management Methods

A survey of no-tillers uncovers a range of application and management practices — plus uses of precision data and cover crops — that help provide optimal crop yields and cut input costs in no-till operations.
Nitrogen (N) management plans are about as variable as the timing and application options available to today’s no-till farmers. Not only is careful consideration given to the types and amounts of N applied, but the use of precision data gathering equipment also enables growers to gauge their success on the fly and take corrective actions as required.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling: Mistakes Create Win-Wins for No-Tiller Eager to Learn

Mistakes have led to more than one production practice that has paid off on our farm. Replanting hailed out crops resulted in our current twin-row planting strategy and a load of fertilizer I couldn’t send back helped us achieve soybean crops capable of winning yield contests. In fact, in three out of the last five years I’ve had the highest yields for the local Pioneer yield contest and one of those years I won the territory. No-till wasn’t an accident, but some unintended lessons helped prove it was the right fit for our farm.
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