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Attica, Ind., no-tiller Dan DeSutter is always looking for ways to improve his cover-crop system. We visited him in the spring of 2016 when he was rolling/crimping his cover crops and planting soybeans.
To learn about DeSutter's operation, check out the What I've Learned from No-Tilling article: Rejuvenating Acres and Ramping Up Soil Productivity.
Gordon Stoner no-tills his 12,000 acres of durum, green field peas, lentils, flax and corn in Outlook, Mont. The 22-year no-till veteran moved from a wheat-fallow rotation to pulse crops and has seen his soils and bottom line both greatly improve.
For more information on Stoner’s operation, read the What I’ve Learned From No-Tilling article: Diversity, No-Till and Continuous Cropping Bring Big Impacts to Bottom Line, published in November 2016. (Subscription)
Increasing plant biodiversity has been experimentally linked to increases in productivity, nutrient availability, ecosystem stability and resource-use efficiency, but the consequences of crop rotational diversity on belowground processes is uncertain. Lisa Tiemann is working to provide insights into belowground responses to rotational diversity. The Michigan State University soil biologist presents a combination of analytical and experimental data to help reveal rotational diversity effects on belowground processes that lead to enhanced soil services in agro-ecosystems.View
When you understand how roots grow and the major corn root types, you’ll have a unique insight of how to select the right hybrid based on drainage, soil types, cover crops and residue cover. In this presentation, Monte Bottens discusses the characteristics of the major corn root types, including the new water-efficiency genetics. The president of California Ag Solutions also walks through why and how roots grow, including how you can positively or negatively impact root growth. He shares how you can set up an on-farm field trial to discover the root types of the hybrids you plant and the impact you can have on crop yield with proper hybrid selection.View
As part of Rulon Enterprises of Arcadia, Ind., Rodney Rulon has been helping the 4th-generation family farm develop a complete no-till system that can compete economically with any farming system while contributing clean water to their watershed that feeds directly into the Indianapolis water supply. With more than 25 years of no-till under his belt, Rulon discusses how Rulon Enterprises developed a no-till system to capitalize on its management style and strengths. This includes a brief look at how his family has incorporated continuous no-till, 1-acre grid soil fertility management, variable-rate inputs, systemic tile drainage, hybrid selection, gypsum and other amendments, as well as using cover crops, to build soils and enhance the system.View
After visiting the U.S. more than a decade ago, Steve Lanyon and his father returned to the family farm in Victoria, Australia, and decided to implement no-till on the farm. Since then, Lanyon has watched his soil structure improve and yields increase without making changes to applied fertilizer rates. In this presentation, Lanyon gives an overview of his farm and the adjustments he’s made to the 10,000-acre operation since adopting no-till, including the decision to move to narrow rows and precision technology, as well as the return on investment he’s realizing.View
With nearly 20 years of no-tilling experience and the knowledge he’s taken away from attending 21 National No-Tillage Conferences, Ross Bishop shares the challenges he’s faced among varying soil types, as well as the adaptations he’s made for planting, lack of fertility, cover crops and harvesting. Running 700 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat while raising beef cattle, the Jackson, Wis., no-tiller is confident no-till will continue to sustain his farm, his soils and his happiness.View
When considering the ways of improving his chances of raising profitable no-tilled corn and soybeans, Marion Calmer, a veteran no-tiller from western Illinois, relies heavily on his 31 years of independent on-farm research. As the president of Calmer’s Agronomic Research Center, he’s learned that the highest yield isn’t always the most profitable, so he makes decisions regarding inputs based on facts and financial sense. In this presentation, Calmer talks about his target of a minimum 35% return on investment for his farm when calculating input costs, and also discusses the yield impact and economic implications that accompany increasing populations, fertilizer inputs, row spacing and the lack of tillage.View
In a year of tight margins, planting non-GMO corn can offer tremendous cost savings. Dust off the old thinking cap and refresh your memory on how to manage herbicide and insecticide programs with non-GMO or conventional corn. Scott Odle, president of Spectrum Seed Solutions, addresses important herbicide considerations and look at varying pesticide management practices for no-tilling non-GMOs. A no-tiller and cover crop user, Odle also discusses his herbicide timing, drift management and ways to keep the plant healthy to reduce insect pressure on his 2,500-acre farm in Linden, Ind.View
Almost all change in agriculture is and has been incremental. For the most part, no-till systems differ little from conventional systems. If we’re going to solve the environmental issues and energy issues we face, we must take a different approach. Dwayne Beck discusses how we can do things differently to solve these problems, specifically with crop rotation. The director of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, S.D., shares how crop rotation is more complex than simply adding wheat or cover crops. He talks about how to look at your system and find the things that let you avoid many of the problems that are now costing you lots of money and a loss of productivity.View
With more than 3 decades experience with continuous no-till, Roger Harrington knows some of the challenges farmers face in making this system work. The Ollie, Iowa, no-tiller raises 1,300 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa on rolling ground in southeast Iowa, and will share what he’s done with drainage and soil management to limit erosion and protect highly productive farmland.View
Can no-tilled ground stand up under the heavy loads of large combines, tractors and grain carts holding more than 1,000 bushels? Is tillage necessary to correct compacted soils? Randall Reeder will report on 25-plus years of compaction research comparing tires and tracks on grain carts carrying 1,100 bushels and data on soil physical properties that affect root growth and movement of air and water.View