Seeding & Planting

what I've Learned From No-Tilling: Milestones Mark Path To No-Till On Family Farm

Innovative terraces and early experiences with the benefits of residue-covered soil pointed to the advantages that no-tilling would deliver to the Wahling family acreage.D
OUR farm in southwestern Iowa has been a leader in soil conservation since the “dirty” 1930s. My father was one of the first individuals to install field terraces on our highly erodible land to slow water runoff and save the topsoil. We’ve kept a copy of the Des Moines Sunday Register from October 1968 that describes how Dad (Edgar Wahling) and I constructed the first push-up grassed-backslope terrace in the United States.
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Understanding Vertical Tillage

The yield-robbing effects of soil compaction continue to be a major challenge for growers, but proponents of deep-tilling say they have an answer for returning compacted soils to fertile, highly productive acres.
Vertical tillage is described as a system of soil management that promotes root development. It's also sometimes called "soiling" or zone tillage because it's used to fracture the entire soil profile from the bottom up using specially designed vertical tillage tools. According to the Precision Planting Co., each tillage pass is designed to increase the vertical flow of nutrients, water and developing roots. Tillage points of the tools work to “heave” the entire section of earth from just below the line that separates topsoil from subsoil.
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No-Till Twin-Row Cropping Continues Farming Evolution

Building on the benefits of conservation tillage, growers find additional advantages and yields from the twin-row system.
Once considered a radical cropping system, no-tilling continued its climb into the mainstream this year. News headlines noted the surging number of growers jumping into no-tilling to escape from skyrocketing fuel and fertilizer prices.
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FRANKLY SPEAKING

Where Will We Steal More Acres For Corn?

Even if the current ethanol demand cools, growing export demand will fuel the move to more continuous corn acres.
While ethanol is the shining star behind expanding corn production, not everyone believes the long-range outlook is good for filling a huge amount of U.S. oil needs with crop-based energy. But if the ethanol demand cools off, increased export demand will certainly pick up the slack and solidify the demand for still more corn acres.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Rotations, Cover Crops Key To Improved Yields

Visits to leading no-tillers provided revelations and guidance that are still being put to use in long-term no-till fields that get better and better.
The first time i heard about no-tilling was at Kansas State University in 1973. We talked about studies being done in Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and other places where no-till first took hold. I came home from those discussions and thought about putting no-till to work on our farm, but we faced a tough challenge. Based on KSU’s no-till handbook, our clay soils (shallow topsoil, super-tight subsoil) are classified as “needing special management” for no-till.
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CSP Payments Reward No-Tillers For Their Practices

One farmer who collects maximum government payments says your current management practices could deliver thousands of dollars per year, but be ready to document your work.D
Jim Andrew believes that his long-term no-tilling on 1,275 acres of corn and soybeans near Jefferson, Iowa, qualifies him for at least $23,000 of his annual $45,000 annual Conservation Security Program Tier III payments under the 2002 farm bill.
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Use No-Till To Beat Government Crackdown On Dust Concerns

California officials are looking to no-tilling to maintain yields while eliminating huge amounts of dust that can hurt human health. Will you be ready if the government regulates dust from cropping practices?
Perhaps you haven’T thought about the amount of dust you generate in a given day. But lawmakers have, and that’s why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a hard look at the amount of dust generated on farms and how this dust affects both air quality and human health.
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