During the past couple years, the editors here at No-Till Farmer have had an eye on about six dozen no-tillers from the fair state of North Carolina that subscribe to our magazine.
That may not number in the upper hundreds like some of the Corn Belt states in our circulation base, but that’s certainly a pocket of loyal readers, and it piqued our curiosity. So on Monday – in the spirit of the Wright Brothers – I’ll be flying to the Tarheel State to get on some farms and see what no-tillers are up to in the South.
From the “Slate Belt region,” where no-till dominates crop production, to the Northeast Coastal Plains, which have soils similar to the Midwest, there’s lots of agricultural innovation in North Carolina.
On several farms north and east of Charlotte, farmers have integrated cover crops like cereal rye, Austrian winter peas, clover, daikon radishes, purple-top turnips, rapeseed and hairy vetch into their rotations to fix nitrogen, fight erosion, build soil organic matter and suppress weeds.
Weed resistance has also been a major problem in the South and I’m anxious to see how these resourceful no-tillers are handling it.
Corn planting may be in full swing down there if weather doesn’t interfere. So keep an eye on the No-Till Farmer Web site early next week as my journey begins, and I’ll share what I learn on our Twitter feed and on Facebook.