Articles by Dan Zinkland

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No-Till Tradition, Passion For Change Fuel Miller Farms

Wisconsin no-tillers make use of cover crops, gypsum, winter wheat and precision ag to enhance soil biology and bump up no-till yields.
Five years ago, Nick and Luke Miller returned to Miller Farms near Oconomowoc, Wis., bringing with them a passion for change that works well with the no-till tradition their father, Bob, began 16 years ago.
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Sudden Death Syndrome Takes Toll On Soybean Crop

Compaction, early planting dates, excessive rain and soil imbalances just some of the factors that combine to increase problems in no-till soybeans.
Compaction, earlier planting, susceptible varieties, a major biological reaction and excessive rain have all played a role in creating huge problems with Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in soybeans this year, says Bob Streit, a crop consultant and owner of Central Iowa Agronomics in Boone, Iowa.
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Corn Rootworm-Resistant Hybrids Need More Nutrients

The larger root mass in hybrids with corn-rootworm resistance function longer and remove more water and nutrients than non-corn-rootworm counterparts.
No-tillers need to pay attention to the extra phosphorus, zinc and other nutrients that corn rootworm-resistant (CRW) hybrids use compared to biotech hybrids without the CRW trait, says Fred Below, University of Illinois plant physiologist.
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No-Till Seed Cover Crops With Liquid Manure Applications

Manure-slurry seeding of cover crops produces an excellent stand and saves time and money, a Michigan State University expert says.
No-tillers who must apply manure late in the summer and also want to drill cover crops face a conflict. When storage nears capacity, manure must be applied to fields. But timely seeding of cover crops is crucial to establishing stands.
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Doug Caffrey Didn't Listen To ‘No-Till Won’t Work Here’

Planting early, injecting manure and hungry night crawlers pay off for veteran Iowa no-tiller.
Conventional wisdom says no-till won’t work in northern Iowa, an area infamous for cold, wet soils. But Thornton, Iowa, farmer Doug Caffrey, who grows corn and soybeans and raises grow-to-finish hogs, has no-tilled successfully for almost 25 years.
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There’s More To Soil Fertility Than N, P And K

Mastering the A, B, Cs of soil fertility means managing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium first, then taking care of secondary nutrients and micronutrient levels, a soil-testing expert says.
When no-tillers get the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels in their fields at optimum levels to maximize yields, they need to focus on secondary and micronutrients, says Ray Ward, owner of Ward Laboratories Inc. in Kearney, Neb.
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“Strip-Twinning” Toward 300-Bushel Corn

Twin-row, strip-tilled continuous corn is helping Illinois farmer John Obery pursue his goal of growing the highest yields possible, but the system demands a great deal of ingenuity and patience.
Conventional wisdom at the coffee shop says John Obery’s twin-row, strip-tilled continuous corn won’t work and conventional tillage is the way to farm. But the Metamora, Ill., strip-tiller, who began farming in 1973, sets his own course.
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