Articles by John Dobberstein

Putting The Fertility Puzzle Together

Yearly soil and tissue tests, cover crops and timely fertilization to avoid ‘hidden hunger’ in plants can boost yields, says no-tiller and crop consultant Ed Winkle.
It’s not likely you’ll find Martinsville, Ohio, no-tiller Ed Winkle running on automatic. When harvest is over, the work is just beginning as he explores how to make the soils on his farm work better.
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Picking A Strategy For Unplanted Fields

Experts say cover crops are the best option for no-tillers to suppress weeds, and boost nutrient levels and soil microbial activity ahead of next year’s planting.
No-tillers face some important decisions this fall on what to do with fields that went unplanted because of spring storms that inundated the Midwest.
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The Final Act: Closing The Seed Slot

Field variability, tougher trash and growers’ early-planting ambitions drive improvements to planter closing wheels used in no-till fields.
When planting is done and crops begin to emerge, no-tillers have a chance to evaluate how well their planter has performed — including whether the unit’s closing wheels are doing the job closing the seed slot.
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Where Ag Tires Fear To Tread

Corn genetics and changing farm practices are to blame for cornstalks destroying agricultural tires. But there are some solutions.
Sudden downtime is the enemy of any productive farmer, and the sources of trouble these days aren’t just mechanical in nature. No-tillers are fighting a pitched battle with cornstalks that are eroding or puncturing tires on their tractors, combines, sprayers and other equipment.
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Fending Off Nematodes In No-Till Cornfields

Nematodes threaten the profitability of many growers’ corn, but Bayer CropScience agronomist Ray Knake shares tools and tips that can minimize the damage.
The microscopic, yield-robbing pests known as nematodes may be causing more damage to U.S. cornfields than experts previously thought.
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Conquering The Fertility Challenge

Crop scouting, onfarm research and GIS-based data analysis could help no-tillers meet world grain demand and increase their farm’s profitability, Harold Reetz says.
In the last last 40 years, growers have learned how to boost crop production while mining nutrients from the soil and reducing fertilizer application rates.
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No-Till’s Measuring Stick

Cover crops, stacked rotations and soil cover of 60% or more after seeding are among the pillars of quality, continuous no-till, Rolf Derpsch says.

No-till may be practiced on more agricultural acres in the U.S. than any other country in the world. But South American no-till consultant Rolf Derpsch believes growers here shouldn’t be satisfied.


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