A lot of ground was covered in the 100 hours of the 24th annual National No-Tillage Conference — from using a drone, to improving fertility, to adding cover crops, to increasing earthworm populations, and plenty more.
While we’ll be going more in depth on some of the information shared in the upcoming months, here’s a quick roundup of some of the most interesting facts and tips learned at the 2016 event in Indianapolis.
- One percent of organic matter contains 1,000 pounds of nitrogen (N), 220 pounds of phosphate, 140 pounds of sulfur and all other nutrients.
- Rapeseed is inexpensive, has a good root structure and emerges quickly.
- In Ohio, 240 water samples taken after a gypsum application have shown more than a 50% reduction in soluble phosphorus (P) leaving fields as compared to no gypsum application.
- Carbon-to-N ratio in soils should be 8:1 to 15:1. Above 20:1 means N is a limiting factor and is tied up in microbial biomass.
- There’s a very low risk of getting rootworms in non-GMO corn after years of using traited hybrids.
- Satellite imagery is usually a week old and the resolution isn’t as high as a drone. Drones offer timeliness and a closer look at problems.
- Microbes eat at the head table. They’ll get their fill of N before your crops will.
- Zinc sulfate is typically the best zinc product to use, as it’s more soluble. In-furrow zinc may not solve deficiencies.
- Ninety-five percent of waterhemp and Palmer amaranth seed stay on the plant through harvest.
- Actinomycetes give off that sweet smell when tillage occurs, but they’re better left in the soil since they help ward off diseases.
- About 3% of P is running off of fields and contributing to algae blooms in Lake Erie. That’s only ¼ pound of P per acre.
- Consider soil testing before planting when residue has decomposed and nutrients are released, as opposed to fall.
If you attended the conference, what was the most valuable information you learned? What do you plan on doing different or trying this upcoming growing season? Share your thoughts and plans in the comments below.