ARTICLES

Eyeballing Organic Matter

Simple tests can help you see the improvements in organic matter due to no-tilling.
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.
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Looking Down On Soil Life

What goes on in the top 2 inches of your no-tilled soil is especially important after the growing season.
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.
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Searching For No-Till’s Silver Bullet

Everyone is looking for that one key factor that will put no-till yields over the top.
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.
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Farming Vertically Pays With No-Till

To no-till 100 bushel per acre soybeans, the critical factor is expanding the amount of life in your soils.
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.
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Choosing The Path Of Least Resistance

While triazine resistance has leveled off, weed resistance to new chemistries is offsetting this trend.
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.
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