Soil Health

Root Exudates Affect Soil Stability, Water Repellency

We might think of roots as necessary, but uninteresting, parts of the crop production process. Paul Hallett and his team disagree. They focus on what’s going on in the soil with the plant’s roots. Research in Scotland digs into delicate plant, soil interactions.
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Turn Stubborn Piles of Residue Into Cash for No-Till Soils, Crops

Biological residue digesters on the market can help no-tillers saddled with not-so-perfect soil biology recycle their crop stover and stubble faster to improve nutrient management.
Highly functioning no-tilled soils should, in theory, efficiently break down crop residue into humus and soil organic matter so plants can take up nitrogen (N), potassium and phosphorus (P) left by the decayed material for the next crop.
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In Search of Bountiful Corn Yields with No-Till and Strip Intercropping

On 500 acres, Matt Sheafer’s Indiana farm is a virtual laboratory of experiments with seeding and maturity rates, nutrient management and crop orientations.
Most farmers like to experiment — whether it’s with seed varieties, equipment setups, nutrient management or other variables — but few no-tillers can say that all of their acres are in some form of an experiment during any one growing season.
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Frank Comments

Same Old Conservation Ideas, Just New Words to Describe Them

While there’s increasing emphasis on “sustainable agriculture” and “soil health,” these four buzzwords tend to ruffle the feathers of veteran no-tillers and others like myself who have followed the no-till movement for nearly a half century. It’s because we recognize that earlier generations of no-tillers were the original true innovators behind these “not-so-new” concepts that go back to the 1960s.
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