Articles by Laura Barrera

Shoot for Higher Organic Matter by Relying on Residue

While increasing organic matter is a multi-year process, no-tillers can boost it even faster by ensuring there’s enough plant material to replenish what’s already in the soil and adding more residue.
Despite making up only a small percentage of the soil — no more than 10%, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension — organic matter plays a critical role in the soil’s health and the crops raised on it.
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Conservation Keeping Growers Competitive on Heavy, Wet Soils

The Baileys are seeing yields comparable to their conventional tillage neighbors with no-till while protecting soil and saving on additional equipment expenses.

GROWING UP on the family farm in Louisville, Ill., Randy Bailey thought the way to farm was to hire labor, have a lot of tractors, discs and rollers and work the land.

But in the 1980s, just after he graduated high school and took over the farm, the Farm Crisis hit and the equity on his land flipped upside down. After hearing retired University of Illinois agronomist Mike Plumer speak at a Farm Bureau meeting about no-till, he decided to give it a try.


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From the Desk of Laura Barrera

Cover Crops Prove Profitable in 2015

Once again, growers who seed cover crops have higher yields — and profits — than those who don’t, say the results of Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) and Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC)’s fourth annual Cover Crop Survey.
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Committing to Cover Crops Brings Added Benefits to No-Till

After seeing the changes cover crops made to one farm, the Eberhard family is going all in to take out weeds and secure and produce nutrients.
Fifteen years ago, Lynn Eberhard began farming a field that was in bad shape. The ground was hard and the yields were poor. So he decided to seed cover crops, which he had been using on and off since the early 1990s, on that farm every year.
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