Articles by Ron Ross

What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Cover Crops Offer Big Yield Boosts If Done Correrctly

No-tillers can find success by committing to, selecting and buying their seed early, planting early and controlling the cover crop early and thoroughly the following spring.
It’s hard to remember when we didn’t do some type of no-tilling or reduced-tillage on our southeastern Illinois farm. We really got into high gear around the mid-1980s. Some of our first results were with corn planted into wheat stubble or a red clover cover crop. We took advantage of the PIK (Payment in Kind) federal farm program during those years to make a serious commitment to long-term no-tilling.
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what I've Learned From No-Tilling: Milestones Mark Path To No-Till On Family Farm

Innovative terraces and early experiences with the benefits of residue-covered soil pointed to the advantages that no-tilling would deliver to the Wahling family acreage.D
OUR farm in southwestern Iowa has been a leader in soil conservation since the “dirty” 1930s. My father was one of the first individuals to install field terraces on our highly erodible land to slow water runoff and save the topsoil. We’ve kept a copy of the Des Moines Sunday Register from October 1968 that describes how Dad (Edgar Wahling) and I constructed the first push-up grassed-backslope terrace in the United States.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Rotations, Cover Crops Key To Improved Yields

Visits to leading no-tillers provided revelations and guidance that are still being put to use in long-term no-till fields that get better and better.
The first time i heard about no-tilling was at Kansas State University in 1973. We talked about studies being done in Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and other places where no-till first took hold. I came home from those discussions and thought about putting no-till to work on our farm, but we faced a tough challenge. Based on KSU’s no-till handbook, our clay soils (shallow topsoil, super-tight subsoil) are classified as “needing special management” for no-till.
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Coated Seed Corn Finding Its Place As No-Tillers Benefit

Those monitoring their investment in the technology say the returns are proving to be worthwhile; more availability could be on the way.
After more than a decade of testing and four full seasons of commercial sales, Intellicoat Early Plant hybrids show increasing acceptance among no-tillers coping with cold, wet spring soils, reports Landec Ag, developer of the polymer seed-coating product.
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Autosteering Options Increasing As No-Tillers Look To Next Year

Implement steering and compatibility with other equipment are key features that could grab attention and address common challenges of precision farming.
More no-tillers, especially many who are adopting strip-tillage, are investing in assisted steering to make their efforts easier and more accurate. Assisted steering of both tractors and implements can boost precision field operations.
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No-Tillers Using New Corn Hybrids, But Selection Still Requires Care

The cost of seed corn has skyrocketed, but some no-tillers and researchers report big gains in yields in side-by-side test plots.
No-tillers seem to be taking evolving technologies in stride as seed companies unveil seed corn that provide new single, double and triple transgenic traits, with seed treatment options for early-season insect and disease protection.
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28 Critical Points To Consider Before No-Tilling Continuous Corn

Mindful of an emerging trend, an agricultural engineer offers guidelines to thoughtful decision-making for no-tillers thinking about leaping into monoculture corn.
Before Paul Jasa will even discuss no-till continuous corn, he issues a strong warning about monoculture farming. The highly respected University of Nebraska extension agricultural engineer has worked for more than 30 years “preaching” a systems approach to no-till, including crop rotation.
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