Soil Health

Better Soils, Fertility Management Give Indiana No-Tiller Better Results

Gypsum, drainage and a wiser approach to fertility have improved soil biology and corn and soybean yields for Jack Maloney.
Jack Maloney used to be your typical farmer when it came to managing soil and fertility. He relied heavily on his local co-op for recommendations — after all, their agronomists had spent years in school studying science, chemistry and biology.
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Iowa Farmer Proves To Himself That No-Till Works

While no-till was a no-brainer on highly erodible land, Nate Ronsiek proved through field trials that it would yield on challenging bottomland soils.
Highly erodible soils shaped into gently rolling hills seemed to Nate Ronsiek like the perfect place to implement the no-till farming practices he learned as a student at Kansas State University. Ronsiek started developing his no-till plan in 2005 when he began taking over the family farm outside Hawarden in northwest Iowa.
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Montana No-Tiller Found Getting ‘Lazy’ Worked

Arnold Gettel first tried no-till in 1969 and has seen soil structure and dryland yields improve as a result.
“Years ago, I got lazy,” jokes Montana no-tiller Arnold Gettel of why he first tried no-till. While fewer hours in the tractor seat was a legitimate appeal for Gettel, the economical benefits are really what drove the transition.
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No-Till Or Not — Compacted Soils Compact Profitability

These simple tips can help no-tillers identify, prevent and remedy soil compaction before it makes a dent in their yields.
As farm equipment gets larger and heavier, yield loss and profit reduction caused by soil compaction is becoming more frequent. Fortunately, growers adopting no-till systems reduce the number of passes across each field and the overall risk of compaction.
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Frank Comments

Managing The Underground

Growers understand that no-till has a favorable impact on soil management. It’s due to the many interconnections between tillage, cropping practices, fertilizer, soil amendments and other soil treatments that end up boosting your yields.
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No Matter The Tillage Method, Compaction Is Costly

New data shows compaction impacts soil quality and plant growth on many levels.
Compaction is a no-till farmer’s kryptonite. The benefits that no-till provides — reduced soil erosion, increased organic matter, efficient biological ecosystems, improved soil quality, higher infiltration rates, yield boosts and more — can quickly be reclaimed if compaction occurs.
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No-Till Notes

No-Till Vs.Strip-Till

Is there a strip-till advantage, or can most no-tillers match strip-till yields with better management?
As more producers move toward no-till systems for conservation compliance and to reduce costs, some have chosen strip-till. Research shows strip-till corn yields have been slightly higher and more consistent than no-till in some areas.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Telling The World Why It Should No-Till An Easy Thing To Do

Preserving soil got southeast Iowa farmer Rodger Harrington into no-till, while being profitable kept him in it.
When people ask why I was the first farmer in our area of southeastern Iowa to start no-tilling 28 years ago, I answer that it was bred into me to control soil erosion any way I can — including extensive use of terraces and grass waterways. I couldn’t bear to see all that soil running into streams and rivers. I knew I had to do something to keep that from happening.
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Fall Nitrogen Requires A Balancing Act

Reduce your spring workload and apply nitrogen more cheaply, but the risk of leaching could leave you short of nitrogen when corn needs it.
When you have a spring season like 2008, you can understand why some growers make an effort to apply at least some of their nitrogen in the fall. But just because you get your nitrogen applied before winter flies, that doesn’t mean it will all be there next spring and summer when your corn needs it.
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