Water Management

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Big Roots from Ryegrass Build ‘Highways’ in the Soil

Ralph Upton Jr. shares how annual ryegrass busted the plow pan, boosted soil organic matter and improved corn yields above the county average.
We've got two different soils on our farm in Springerton, Ill.: What we call hill ground, and then bottom ground. The hill ground has got plenty of problems, and the bottom ground — if you don’t have too many water problems — will do a real good job of growing crops.
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Saving Soils with a Diverse Rotation, Covers & Manure

Palmyra, Wis., no-tiller Tom Burlingham specializes in hay and alfalfa but his diverse rotation is maintaining his soils and reducing inputs.
No-tilling near Palmyra in southern Wisconsin on land just across the road from his childhood home, Tom Burlingham and his wife, Margaret, got a wake-up call about wind erosion during the 1981 planting season.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling: No-Till and Cover Crops Give Tired Soils New Life

It was an uphill battle, but these Missouri no-tillers returned productivity to a heavily depleted farm.
A cross-state move and knowing the potential of no-till bought our family and the land we purchased a fresh start. A commitment to cover crops gave us a mid-race boost we’re still riding.
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Soil: Water Reservoir for Crop Production

Elwyn Taylor, Iowa State University climatologist, reported that 200-bushel corn needs 19 to 23 inches of water during the growing season. For 200-bushel corn at 75 degree F (soil temperature), corn needs 1-acre inch of water per week, doubling to 2 inches at 85 degrees F, and doubling again to 4 inches at 95 degrees F. Read more in this article from Ohio's Country Journal.
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Embracing No-Till Innovations for Higher Yields and Less Nutrient Runoff

Never satisfied with the status quo, many no-tillers seem to always be looking for new solutions that will make them more efficient, improve profits and reduce the environmental impacts of their practices on the land. If there were a no-till motto, it might be “There’s got to be a better way.”
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