Articles by Ron Ross

What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Preserving The Fertile Soils Of The Palouse

Going 100% no-till in 1997 has placed Read Smith in position to help lead the effort to protect the fragile farmland of eastern Washington.
We're no doubt biased, but my family and I think there are few more breathtaking views of production agriculture than seen from the highest point of our farm in the Palouse region of eastern Washington. In midsummer, flowing fields of crops — which may include wheat, canola, barley, sunflowers, mustard, alfalfa, peas and lentils — stretch across the hills to the horizon.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Fixing Flaws Of No-Till In Infancy Led To Opener

To establish consistent seed germination, New Zealand’s John Baker learned that protecting soil humidity when planting was a critical need with no-till opener designs.
Some 41 years ago, when a few colleagues and I began what would become a three-decade scientific effort at New Zealand’s Massey University, we did not set out to invent a new no-tillage system.
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Boost Profits With Each Spraying Trip

The sprayer is becoming the most important piece of equipment on the farm for assuring top crop yields. It’s the only machine that can protect your profits every time it goes over the ground.
The interest in sprayers following the Asian soybean rust threat in 2005 has really never waned, for several reasons.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Time and Money Saved allowed for expansion of business operations

We’re now no-tilling four times as much land and have diversified into a grain cleaning and processing operation that works across the country for much of the year.
If your familiar with the cyclical weather patterns (very dry to very wet) we’ve experienced in North Dakota since I started no-tilling in 1986, the fact that I’m still in business might say an awful lot. Not only am I still no-tilling, but I have expanded from 1,000 to 4,000 acres of cropland. And thanks to the many hours I no longer have to spend in the field, I’ve built up a busy grain cleaning and processing business.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Time Savings Allow for Speciality Crops

High-starch corn and Roundup Ready soybean seed are two crops made possible because no-tilling gives Sam Swinford the time needed for these niche markets.
We made our initial commitment to continuous no-tilling during the early years of Roundup Ready soybean development. We had gained experience with no-tilling double-cropped soybeans into wheat stubble, but we weren’t totally impressed. We found that heavy residue from the wheat crop tied up nitrogen and was costing us fertilizer dollars. We were also experimenting with no-tilling soybeans into corn stubble, which was getting easier with new narrow-row equipment.
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