Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera

Laura Barrera is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. Prior to joining No-Till Farmer, she served as an assistant editor for a greenhouse publication. Barrera holds a B.A. in magazine journalism from Ball State University.

ARTICLES

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5 On-Farm Studies Help No-Tiller Measure Profitability and Calculate ROI

No-till veteran Marion Calmer explains how on-farm research has helped him determine the best row spacings, seeding populations, fertility and residue management programs for maximum profitability.

When Marion Calmer bought his first farm back in the 1980s, a quote attributed to British mathematician Lord Kelvin was top of mind: “We can’t improve on things we don’t measure or research.”


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7 Strategies for Reducing Slug and Vole Problems

No-tillers can battle these two pests with scouting, sound planting practices, strategic cover crop management, the right field equipment and some help from predators.

While there are many benefits to long-term no-till and cover cropping, unfortunately, it is also a very stable environment for slugs and voles. 


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Strategies for Addressing Site-Specific Problems with Variable-Rate Seeding and Fertilizer

Kentucky no-tiller Mark Chapman shares his approach and best practices for implementing variable-rate technology to push yields in the places where it matters most.
For decades Mark Chapman was aware of the differences within his fields but was unable to do anything about it. But that all changed once he was able to bring GPS onto the farm.
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Should You Rely on Technology to Guide Your Nitrogen Decisions?

A soil scientist explains the accuracy of different nitrogen advisory tools, their limitations, and whether they’re likely to provide a return on investment.
NITROGEN (N) IS ONE of the biggest influencers on corn yield. In fact, University of Illinois plant physiologist Fred Below called it the second most important factor in his “Seven Wonders of the Corn Yield World,” ranked just behind weather.
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9 Tips for Succeeding with Cover Crops in the South

Four South Carolina growers share why they started cover cropping, the challenges they’ve faced and how the practice is helping them improve their soils.
Jason Carter was always told that you can’t improve your soil organic matter in South Carolina. “You’re right, without cover crop, you can’t,” says the Eastover, S.C., no-tiller.
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Should You Rotate Your Cover Crops? 4 Issues to Consider

Some covers planted back to back, year after year, can cause problems for no-tillers with root and soil diseases if selection and timing isn’t carefully managed, says Dave Robison.
Growers probably know crop rotation is a good thing as it helps prevent pests and disease, improves soil health and reduces fertilizer inputs — all of which can boost crop yields and the bottom line.
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Diversifying Crops and Livestock Saves Soil While Boosting Profitability

Gail Fuller learned it takes more than no-till to see a change in soil health, and since losing his crop insurance, he’s no longer focused on chasing yields for commodities, but building healthy soil for healthy foods.
Gail Fuller has always been driven by erosion. He decided to give no-till a try not long after he began farming full-time in the 1980s, because he hated seeing soil leave his farm in Emporia, Kan., where slopes range from 1-5%.
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Feeding the Soil Brings Dramatically Positive Results

At a soil health conference at Clemson University in October 2019, Doug Newton, a no-tiller from Clio, S.C., sat down with West Union, Iowa, no-tiller Loran Steinlage and discussed their experiences with no-tilling, cover cropping and creating fertility with plants.
Doug Newton, a no-tiller from Clio, S.C., sat down with West Union, Iowa, no-tiller Loran Steinlage and discussed their experiences with no-tilling, cover cropping and creating fertility with plants.
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