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No Till or Not?


farmer john 8910
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We have started no tilling more since we got a planter with better row cleaners and down pressure. We did 200 acres last year and have done about 600 so far this year. Last year we couldn’t really see any yield difference. We raise mostly continuous corn with a few beans if we need to clean up some volunteer corn once in a while. Just wondering what everyone is seeing in this situation. We traditionally are full tillage so this kind of makes me feel like I’m doing a sloppy job of farming in a way.

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Don’t know if it’s right or wrong every body no tills in this part of Ky farther west I see a lot of conventional till I think it has to do with soil type. in western Ky I think it’s kind of wet in the fall so they make a mess harvesting and then they chisel plow and disc in spring . I don’t raise any row crops just saying what I see . 

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I’m not convinced no till actually shows an increase in yield simply because of that but rather the benefit is in the fact that you make less trips across the field therefore less fuel used and less soil compaction less wear and tear on machinery and less man hours spent. 

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54 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

I’m not convinced no till actually shows an increase in yield simply because of that but rather the benefit is in the fact that you make less trips across the field therefore less fuel used and less soil compaction less were and tear on machinery and less man hours spent. 

Just the amount of time and fuel saved seems to make all the difference.  With the acres that some are covering, it would be almost impossible with full on conventional.  

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not to turn this into another '' oil thread''

there is a lot of info on line about no till.

kinda makes sense.

the equipment is expensive for us small time growers but there is modifications that could work on existing equipment.

Mike

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Gotta put a pencil toit too see what  your bottomline is and profit per acre first you may still be ahead

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I think no till has it’s benefits, but I think tillage does as well. If your soil lends itself to no till then you need to take advantage of it. Personally in our heavy clay soils I still think you need both fall tillage and spring tillage because the action of the freezing and thawing of these heavy soils will help to mellow that soil so when it’s time to work it in the spring it works up nicely. If you work these heavy soils when their not ready you will pay for it all season. And with these colder climates, I think bare loose dirt warms up faster than unworked ground. But, if you get a hard rain before you can plant, you might have just created a huge sponge that you will not be able to get on! 
So, in short, let the soil and the crops be your guide.

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3 minutes ago, farmer john 8910 said:

Part of why we are doing it is we haven’t been able to get any fall tillage done for a couple years and we can’t find any help anymore 

how is it working for your farm?

Mike

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32 minutes ago, Mike H said:

not to turn this into another '' oil thread''

there is a lot of info on line about no till.

kinda makes sense.

the equipment is expensive for us small time growers but there is modifications that could work on existing equipment.

Mike

A stock 955 cyclo air planter with just replacing the closing disks to the yetter saw tooth ones will no-till very well. Tillage equipment has a per acre cost to use no matter what

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5 minutes ago, bitty said:

A stock 955 cyclo air planter with just replacing the closing disks to the yetter saw tooth ones will no-till very well. Tillage equipment has a per acre cost to use no matter what

so instead of digging an opening for seed use the yetter saw tooth to cover the seed on top of the ground.

Mike

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There are some guys up here that do no till and at the farm we played with it after they bought the big landoll drill. One thing I learned is that when it's time to go you have to be ready to go. I was to drill 100 acres of no till one day after we got a 1/4 inch of rain, sorghum into played out hay fields. I had to clean out the drill and set it up for the different rate which took about two hours. Those two hours made a huge difference in the seeding because as it dried out the ground got harder and the stand was poorer compared to the first fields I planted verses the last. The guys that do it here do it mostly because there ground is excessively stoney

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Just now, Mike H said:

so instead of digging an opening for seed use the yetter saw tooth to cover the seed on top of the ground.

Mike

We have notilled for 15 years here with early riser units. We have had excellent success without any no-till Coulter on the planters 

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24 minutes ago, bitty said:

A stock 955 cyclo air planter with just replacing the closing disks to the yetter saw tooth ones will no-till very well. Tillage equipment has a per acre cost to use no matter what

Wear parts are getting ridiculous anymore.  The fact a 30-40 year old corn planter is capable of bolt on upgrades that makes it no till capable takes a lot of the cost shock out of it.  

One thing people have figured out though is you almost need to have tillage to seed down hay stands for an adequate seedbed and to smooth things out.  

 

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30 minutes ago, Mike H said:

how is it working for your farm?

Mike

So far haven’t seen a drop in yield but concerned we will have to much residue on top after a couple years. We are on 20 inch rows so not much room to throw trash into

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1 hour ago, farmer john 8910 said:

You have a picture of those closing wheels Bitty?

We switch the direction around by unbolting the bearings on two of the planters . Disk is directional. The second planter that we just got we're going to try spraying the fertilizer on at the closing discs so we had to leave those cupped out .IMG_20200503_172656300.thumb.jpg.4efe5de12f2e9ea4f3eefd0ba474dc7b.jpgIMG_20200503_172714376.thumb.jpg.23c09c59246e74d5c3c568ee723c45b5.jpgIMG_20200503_172708782.thumb.jpg.8ac85d8a6b57641d748eba0e6948b3cc.jpg

this is a new one for us. We have to finish getting the fertilizer usable.

IMG_20200503_172723934_HDR.jpg

IMG_20200503_172736388.jpg

IMG_20200503_172744436.jpg

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From my experiences, in good corn, and by good, I mean 200+, the stalk breakdown on the varieties anymore doesn't occur fast enough to continously do no till.  Guys here run vertical tillage, but I personally think that just kicks the can down the road from my experience.  Another thing is with the weeds and spray material costs factor in.  What used to be done years ago with x number of spray app's, seems to take more now even with new spray materials.  Some guys around me have gone by to doing some tillage in sort of a rotation to get a handle on the trash.  The guys that farm the neighbors over the fencerow from me even got rid of their Cat 75 and bought a Kinze Repowered 8850 just for a inline ripper and chisel plow work.  They ran the chisel here this year and they are serious no-tillers, so maybe the latest flavor is wearing off?

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I've been renovating pastures, kind of no till, with a Danish Tine in front of a 620 press wheel. A couple inches deep on the tine, just enough to press grass seed in. A complete redo, grass/alfalfa mix gets full tillage on the hay ground. Half inch deep on the seed, one pass on the renovate, preferably in the fall, spring works if I have a little luck with rain

IMG_20200503_163624199_HDR.jpg

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We do both and it does depend on soil type and also wet harvesting conditions and certain types of crops  

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Other than 1 field for my Dad to play and some woods edges, I am all no till.  My yield is the same or better in corn and possibly slightly under in soybeans.  However, with the less fuel used it comes out around even.  I believe the benefits to the soil are better in no till and that is the main reason I do it.

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3 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

From my experiences, in good corn, and by good, I mean 200+, the stalk breakdown on the varieties anymore doesn't occur fast enough to continously do no till.  Guys here run vertical tillage, but I personally think that just kicks the can down the road from my experience.  Another thing is with the weeds and spray material costs factor in.  What used to be done years ago with x number of spray app's, seems to take more now even with new spray materials.  Some guys around me have gone by to doing some tillage in sort of a rotation to get a handle on the trash.  The guys that farm the neighbors over the fencerow from me even got rid of their Cat 75 and bought a Kinze Repowered 8850 just for a inline ripper and chisel plow work.  They ran the chisel here this year and they are serious no-tillers, so maybe the latest flavor is wearing off?

We've been no tilling for 25+ years so I don't buy the concern about residue build up. Same herbicide programs used here for no till or conventional till. Only difference is that we sometimes use a burn down for beans into corn ground, and that is a lot cheaper than the cost of tillage.

6 hours ago, bitty said:

A stock 955 cyclo air planter with just replacing the closing disks to the yetter saw tooth ones will no-till very well. Tillage equipment has a per acre cost to use no matter what

Maybe it depends on soil type but we've used an 800, 950, 955, and now a 1250 and had no need to change closing discs. 

6 hours ago, Mike H said:

so instead of digging an opening for seed use the yetter saw tooth to cover the seed on top of the ground.

Mike

No, the early riser unit does an excellent job of opening a seed trench even in no till.

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11 minutes ago, IH Forever said:

We've been no tilling for 25+ years so I don't buy the concern about residue build up. Same herbicide programs used here for no till or conventional till. Only difference is that we sometimes use a burn down for beans into corn ground, and that is a lot cheaper than the cost of tillage.

Maybe it depends on soil type but we've used an 800, 950, 955, and now a 1250 and had no need to change closing discs. 

No, the early riser unit does an excellent job of opening a seed trench even in no till.

I have seen the exact same herbicide used also but a little added for burn down as we have a cover crop of rye growing. 

Soil type does make slight difference between what works for me compared to you or even someone just ten miles away.

We have no issues opening a furrow for the seed. 

 

Planter maintenance is more important for no-till than conventional tillage. In the end it costs less per acre to get the same yields in the end . Because of the short season here we have seen a slight advantage to row cleaners even though we chop 100%  

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