You can eyeball how much organic matter there is in your soil, says Jill Clapperton, a Canadian soil microbiologist at the Lethbridge Research Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta. Take a sample of the soil in an old can, mix it with water and shake well.
When you walk across a no-till field, Jill Clapperton says you’re walking on the rooftop of a bustling community. No-tilled soils teem with life, and with the right management techniques, you can use these busy organisms to your benefit, says the the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada soil biologist stationed at the Lethbridge Research Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Deep-banding fertilizer sounded like a great idea to Brad Mathson when he first heard about it. However, participating in a no-till club saved him from spending $30,000 to find out that it probably isn’t the best way to increase no-till yields in his operation.
Increasing no-till yields is a matter of learning to “farm vertically,” maintains Ray Rawson. More than 40 years of no-tilling in northern Michigan have taught Rawson that it’s all about massive root systems and not ever about higher soybean plant populations.
With herbicide-resistant weeds on the increase and no new chemistries on the horizon, soybean farmers — and especially no-tillers — must carefully review their weed-control options, according to a panel of four field agronomists at the recent 2003 National No-Till Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.
No-tiller David Groff from Cedar Meadow Farm in Holtwood, Pa., talks about the farm’s experience this year no-tilling hemp and the cover-crop mix and fertility plan they followed during the growing season.
Finding solutions to the problems farmers face is what inspired Harry and Etta Yetter to open a small machine shop in west central Illinois in the 1930s. Today, four generations later, Yetter continues the tradition of solving agricultural problems to meet the needs of producers all over the world.
Needham Ag understands the role of technology in making better use of limited resources within a specific environment by drawing on a wealth of global experience to overcome the challenges facing today's farmers, manufacturers and dealers.