No-Till Farmer

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April 2018: Conservation Tillage Guide

Volume: 47
Edition: 4

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  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

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    Frank Comments

    24% of No-Tillers Seeding Dicamba-Tolerant Beans to Combat Drift Fears

    While seed companies would lead you to believe growers will be planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans this spring to improve yields or do a better job of controlling weeds, results from a No-Till Farmer survey indicate many will only be doing so to protect their bean crop against potential herbicide drift concerns from neighboring soybean fields.
    Read More
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    Carbonomics: Opening a Carbon Currency Exchange Within a No-Till Soil Ecosystem

    Crop diversity and biological activity in a cover-cropped farming system ensures healthy interactions between plants, roots and soil organisms, says Keith Berns.
    Likening a healthy, robust industrial economy to the types of biological activities taking place underground in a no-till, cover-cropped farming system isn’t a stretch of the imagination, says Keith Berns.
    Read More
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    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    20 No-Till Trends from the Past Decade

    Cover cropping, yields, seed corn populations and precision tools all on the rise, while Roundup Ready soybeans, soybean seeding rates and applied nitrogen on the decline, according to No-Till Farmer readers.
    A look back at the last 10 years may reveal that you have fewer hairs on the top of your head (or more of them colored gray). As for the collective farming operations of No-Till Farmer readers, a number of trends have emerged from the past decade of no-till operational benchmark surveys that no-tillers graciously took the time to answer.
    Read More
    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    No-Tillers Keep Their Noses Above Water

    From highs to lows, No-Till Farmer readers adjusted to a weakening U.S. ag economy during the last decade by cutting expenses to maintain slim profits.
    A lot can happen over 10 years. In the spring of 2008, George W. Bush was the President of the U.S. and the U.S. economy was humming along. It was only several months later that the real estate market and economy collapsed.
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    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    No-Tillers Walk a Fine Line on Earnings

    Boosted by record corn yields, no-tillers eked out slightly better profits in 2017 despite higher expenditures for land rent, crop protection, equipment.
    Being “better than average” on a consistent basis usually leads to success. In the 2017 world of farm economics, it took something extra special for no-tillers to finish in the black.
    Read More
    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    14 Facts About the Top No-Till Yielders

    Whether corn or soybeans, these top-third no-till yielders used more inputs, spent more money to get higher yields in 2017, but with mixed bottom lines.
    So what are the practices that the top no-till corn and soybean producers use in their operations?
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    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    Cover Crop Train Keeps Rolling On

    Use hits all-time high at 83%, but more cereal rye seeded to trim costs.
    No-Till Farmer readers appear firmly committed to using cover crops. The percentage of no-tillers using cover crops grew to 83% in 2017 — a 6-point jump over the prior year, an all-time high in the decade-old no-till benchmark study and the 6th consecutive year of growth.
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    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    Fertilizer Expenses Creep Upward

    After slashing their fertilizer bill nearly 27% in 2016, no-tillers battled to keep their spending on applied nutrients to a 4% increase last year.
    After having made considerable cuts to their fertilizer spending in 2016, No-Till Farmer readers fought hard to hold on to those dollars in a bid to stay profitable in 2017. They did well, for the most part.
    Read More
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    What I've Learned from No-Tilling

    Cattle, Cover Crops, No-Till and Improved Soil Health Provide Returns

    Fifth generation of Doans keeping North Dakota’s Black Leg Ranch abundant with diverse business plan of cattle, crops and agritourism.
    Some of the soils I helped farm as a child in southwestern North Dakota are probably somewhere in South Dakota now. I grew up in the era of wheat and summer fallow. A lot of the ground around here is very sandy and marginal. Did it ever blow when we were tilling. I remember as a kid getting sent with a disc or a drag to try and make it stop blowing. It seemed so futile, and it was.
    Read More
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    Biofertilizers Helping No-Tillers Save Money, Fix Soils and Boost Yields

    With a little time investment and a cheap source, soils and crops can benefit from biosolids, compost, biochar, sea plant extracts and other natural products.
    While no-tillers typically enjoy a reduction in fuel, machinery costs and labor when compared to their conventional-tillage neighbors, fertilizing their soils and crops isn’t getting any cheaper.
    Read More
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    Spray Nozzle ‘Sweet Spots’ Help Reduce Drift Potential

    Despite mounting drift-control concerns, sprayer nozzle designs and pressures should be maximized for efficient weed and insect control.
    Given today’s wide variety of expensive crop protectants and their various label requirements — along with ever-changing, penalty-laden regulatory mandates aimed at controlling drift — it’s no wonder no-tillers and applicators search for that one nozzle that will do the best job on their sprayer.
    Read More
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    Rethinking ‘Conventional’ Wisdom Leads to Revelations, 100% No-Till

    Parking the plow helped John Macauley cut five passes across the field, save on fuel and labor and maintain yields as he builds a more sustainable operation.
    Some farmers dive headlong into changing their tillage practices. John Macauley, who farms 1,200 acres with his father, Jim, in Groveland, N.Y., is proof that transitioning to no-till can be done in steps.
    Read More
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    No-Tiller Launches Right Into Cover Crops, Planting Green

    No-tilling for only a few years, Josh Payne is already reaping the benefits of diverse cover crops, improved soil tilth and reduced commercial inputs.
    Josh Payne remembers the day he decided to switch from conventional tillage to no-tilling. The young farmer and his grandfather Charlie were in a shed one day in May 2013 on Charlie Payne’s farm near Concordia, Mo., working on machinery.
    Read More
  • Featured Articles

    Featured Articles

    Frank Comments

    24% of No-Tillers Seeding Dicamba-Tolerant Beans to Combat Drift Fears

    While seed companies would lead you to believe growers will be planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans this spring to improve yields or do a better job of controlling weeds, results from a No-Till Farmer survey indicate many will only be doing so to protect their bean crop against potential herbicide drift concerns from neighboring soybean fields.
    Read More
    Winter_Forage.png
    What I've Learned from No-Tilling

    Cattle, Cover Crops, No-Till and Improved Soil Health Provide Returns

    Fifth generation of Doans keeping North Dakota’s Black Leg Ranch abundant with diverse business plan of cattle, crops and agritourism.
    Some of the soils I helped farm as a child in southwestern North Dakota are probably somewhere in South Dakota now. I grew up in the era of wheat and summer fallow. A lot of the ground around here is very sandy and marginal. Did it ever blow when we were tilling. I remember as a kid getting sent with a disc or a drag to try and make it stop blowing. It seemed so futile, and it was.
    Read More
    Open.jpg
    No-Till Operational Benchmark Study

    20 No-Till Trends from the Past Decade

    Cover cropping, yields, seed corn populations and precision tools all on the rise, while Roundup Ready soybeans, soybean seeding rates and applied nitrogen on the decline, according to No-Till Farmer readers.
    A look back at the last 10 years may reveal that you have fewer hairs on the top of your head (or more of them colored gray). As for the collective farming operations of No-Till Farmer readers, a number of trends have emerged from the past decade of no-till operational benchmark surveys that no-tillers graciously took the time to answer.
    Read More
  • Digital Edition

    Digital Edition

  • Online Extras

    Online Extras

    Online Extras: April 2018 Issue

    Web-exclusive content for this issue includes:

    • Video of Dan Brick discussing side-by-side field comparison of the growth in fall-panted cover crops, with and without a solid manure application.
    • Video of strip-till farmer Brent Willnerd discussing the transition from aerial seeding to drilling covers.
    • Podcast featuring Jill Clapperton discussing the characteristics of healthy soils.
    • Podcast featuring Jill Clapperton discussing the characteristics of healthy soils and the importance of building soil structure in creating a diverse, viable no-till system.
    • Webinar featuring No-till consultant and Exapta founder Matt Hagny shares timetested, proven tips to overcome seeding challenges in no-till environments.

    Read More

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