Items Tagged with 'what I've learned'


What I've Learned from No-Tilling

Cover Crops Smother Weeds, Slash Input Costs, Bring Soils To Life

Manure, covers and more than 4 decades of no-till helped North Carolina farmer Ray Styer rejuvenate old tobacco acres and eliminate the need for commercial fertilizers on his small farm.
Looking out over my fields today, it’s hard to imagine them as the rundown acres I originally purchased with my wife back in 1958.
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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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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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What I've Learned from No-Tilling

Teaching And Studying Bring New Insights Into The New-Till World

Finding how no-tilling and organic agricultural practices can benefit one another is just one area that deserves a closer look.
It's somewhat ironic that trying to farm right out of college during a period of bad flooding in northeastern Saskatchewan led me several years later to cropping systems research in a semi-arid area where I could really use some of that excess water! Along the way, I did graduate studies in forage genetics at the University of Guelph in Ontario and at the University of Minnesota.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling

Yes, You Can No-Till Into Live Cover Crops

Important lessons are still being learned, but the system further protects the soil for long-term benefits.
Anyone who heard me talk about my operation at the 2006 National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis knows that I'm as close to paranoid about soil loss as a person can get.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling

After Three Decades Of No-Tilling, There's Still More To Learn

Never stop looking to improve your fields, your cropsand your profits, says one of the early adopters of no-tilling.
When I first gave no-till a serious look in 1972, we were lucky to harvest 60 bushels of corn per acre in southwestern Nebraska. I couldn’t have dreamed then that we would be setting ambitious but realistic yield goals of 250-bushel corn and near 100-bushel soybeans and wheat for 2006.
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What I've Learned from No-Tilling

Crop Value Rather Than Top Yield Matters In This No-Till Operation

What this husband and wife team saw immediately with no-till was that they had more money in the bank at the end of the year.
Our shift to no-tillage started after we attended a Top Farmer Crop Workshop at Purdue University in 1989. We were told about the big gains that some of the early no-till innovators were getting by seeding soybeans with a no-till drill rather than in 30-inch rows. It seemed like a good system to consider.
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