Jump to content

Recommended Posts

We switched from full conventional till to no till 13 years ago now. It is a learning curve, we have had success and we have had failures. Yield wise we are on par with neighbors but the savings is in equipment, time and labor. This is on a dairy growing corn, beans, wheat and alfalfa, clover and grass hay in some of the coldest wettest climate in the country. We also use cover crops in the fall which has also been trial and error over the years. It takes more management and patience. We start planting in the spring a few days after the conventional guys but finish before them.  The biggest thing is where a lot of guys make mistakes is they try it for a year or two in a couple fields with planters set up for conventional till and say it doesn’t work. You do get a yield drag for the first couple years sometimes but it corrects as the soil tilth and soil health improve. It is important to have your planter set up to no till and to keep the planter iron in good shape. We put new openers on every year on corn planter. 
I do miss doing tillage as I enjoy it and was very much anti- notill for years. I fought it for awhile but have seen it work, and seen soil health improvement over the years. 
As far as slugs, yes we have had some slug issues some years in some fields but at the end did not effect yield greatly. We scout once a week to find problems and catch them early but not much you can do for slugs. There is slug bait but is not very effective and ROI is not there. 
Feel free to message me if you want to chat. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are livestock producers and do a corn silage, cover crop for hay, alfalfa rotation. There is no one size fits all approach for notill. It can work but it also takes work, and no we don't treat it as a religion like some people do. I Know people say notill helps the ground to soften but that hasn't been my experience here. Our red clay turns into a brick. We plant with a jd7000. It has suitcase weights on the frame, heavy downpressure springs, 150 ish pounds of sand and weight bolted on each row unit no till coulters and at times still can't get seeds to 2 inches deep. People have told me to take the no till Coulter off because it is another point of contact that reduces pressure. Well we tried that and couldn't get seeds 3/4 of an inch deep. People said to run the Coulter just above the seed opener and it will work, we tried that and got the seeds 1.25 inches deep. We have to run the Coulter just below the seed openers and then can usually get 2 inches deep. Rubber closing wheels didn't close our seed trench either. We had to run aftermarket spike wheels. Now part of that I believe is because of the fiberous root system of the cover crop we plant into. Even with all of the effort we put into getting no till to work for our corn. We do conventional when seeding back to alfalfa. The stands seem to be better and last longer. The notill corn saves us a lot of time and headaches and allows us to harvest our cover crop. We plant into the harvested cover crop stubble probably 5 to 7 days after taking it off as hay, and we spray burndown after planting and before the corn emerges. If we wanted to do conventional to plant corn into we would have to fall chisel or moldboard plow and then disc in the spring after several freeze thaw cycles. If we were to work the ground at the wrong time our seed bed would consist of fist sized clay clods and no amount of tillage would bust them up. I've seen it happen before. Right now we are waiting on rain, haven't had any in 2 weeks and the ground is like concrete. Even with all the work on the planter set up we have to catch a narrow soil moisture window to plant. All that said, we generally have good corn for our area

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am 100% no till on my farm.  The main thing is the time and savings on wear and tear on my older equipment.  I don't farm much but have a full time off shift job. I can spray burndown and then go plant.  No messing with tillage operations.  I have fields that are mellow and other fields that are hard, it just depends on the soil.  Last year I planted some cereal rye and will be increasing my acres of it this year.  I use a John Deere 7000, it has row cleaners, but I took off the no till coulters.  I don't use starter fertilizer so I just fill the fertlizer tanks full of water for down pressure.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My neighbor’s long term no till ground. I’ve been watching this since I bought my place almost 10 years ago. There are pros and cons to no till. 
 

Sone guys are “partial no till” if you will. Do tillage before planting corn but not before planting beans. Have another neighbor who is doing that very successfully. 

F4AFF802-E927-4EB1-937A-1CCECB8E5DE3.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One way to go broke crop farming is to do mismanaged continuous corn on corn no till . . . Maybe it doesn’t even have to be mismanaged . . . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Different crops and conditions up here but the vast majority is no till or at least minimal till around here. Residue management is the biggest thing here. You may have to harrow  ahead of the air drill or worst case burn the field off if it’s to wet or to much residue. That’s a last resort extreme situation though.  All that being said there’s still a big demand for vertical tillage equipment here now. Lots of sloughs to work up and some guys are even going back and pre working the ground for small seeds like canola.  There’s some pluses to it, warms the ground up in the spring and gets the weeds growing earlier so a pre seed burn off kills more. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fwiw

We, our entire region, all do full tillage.  Inland where drier and hotter with much colder winters they are going more and more notill silage corn.

On the coast we have near same rainfall and growing deg as Chris.  But....we never freeze ground or have humidity nore snow.  Every trial at anyones place or the research farm nets significantly lower yields.  We have tried a min till and just seen poor results.  Plowing here flips the warm wet soil under to the seed bed is our theory.  We are (me and others) notill drilling in grass after 4 5 seasons to get 3 more seasons from a field before corn silage.  Our wet really taxes us with dang weeds like chick and pig.  For example we just quick chiseled plowed a field (was potato and little solids) and disc/rolling harrow it down.  3 weeks later with unbelievable growing conditions it looks like a weed patch.  The field 1000' away we plowed with alot of manure is clean as a pin with rows popping crisply.

Everything is diff everywhere!!!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Troy said, every place is different and what might work here might not work there. Crop rotation is another key piece of the puzzle for residue management. 80% of our corn is chopped for silage so residue is minimal, the balance is on a corn/beans rotation. Corn silage ground is on a 3 year corn/hay rotation. Being a dairy one of the hardest aspect is manure management in a no till environment so we only spread when it is dry or frozen to reduce compaction and ruts. You will be amazed after 3 or 4 years of no till how much better the ground carries without creating ruts and fighting mud, always heard it but never believed it until I saw it myself. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

I said up front that I was not familiar with having slugs in a field. I was asking a question not giving management advice. I don’t understand why asking questions about farming practices, especially about tillage or lack thereof, in other parts of the country is the same as insulting someone’s mother. I haven’t been on here a long time, but I haven’t seen anyone suggest, in this thread anyway, that the way they are doing it is the only way. Maybe there has been some conversations on here that I just was not a part of and that is where you are coming from. 

I’m pretty sure that Lazy WP’s comment was not directed at you or anyone else in this thread, but rather a comment on attitudes he has seen in the past.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, ChrisNY said:

 You will be amazed after 3 or 4 years of no till how much better the ground carries without creating ruts and fighting mud, always heard it but never believed it until I saw it myself. 

Agreed. One of the best side effects. Fall of 2011 we had just got our silage carts and a custom guy at the neighbors had also. He said it was great at our place getting around. I couldn't believe him as we were having trouble. Then I saw what it looked like where he was pulling the same exact carts through the neighbors conventional tilled corn . It was a world of difference between that and notill at our place. We had been notill for about 8 years then 

IMG_20210519_105656908_HDR.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Michigan No Till said:

Gearclash, those beans look to be 15"s, double planted with a 30"corn planter?

They are 15s.  Planter is a Kinze 12/23 with the interplant rows in front of the bar.  If you look carefully at the rows in the center of the picture, you will see that the row spacing is not all on 15”.  There are tram line rows for the sprayer.  Watching this field over the years has made me think 15” beans isn’t worth the trouble, at least not in no till. More years than not this guy gets whacked by white mold.  The healthier and bushier the bean plants, the more likely that white mold comes along and trims off a nice bit of yield.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have no-tilled quite a bit and still do occasionally do some corn and 30-50% of our beans.  No-till corn can do really well "here" under the right conditions but a quick pass with a field cultivator ahead of the planter greatly increases the odds of having a good stand.  I like the idea of strip tillage but I don't know of anybody within 30 miles of here doing it.  

  One of the reasons we've gone back to tillage on some of our bean acres is to help with weed control, a few years ago a light tillage pass almost completely eliminated marestail, it's not as effective now but it still helps and reduces our dependence on herbicides.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cliff, mares tail has become a secondary winter annual for us. On our no til. Sharpen, Metribuzin, and glyposatate Pre-plant. Wanted to use sulfentrozone, Metribuzin, and prowl H20, with the glyposatate. But chickened out on the prowl and sulfentrozone for the 1 once of Sharpen cause it kills them broadleaf weeds! Short residual they say but, late grass and lambsquarter is the new boots on our block! Saving the group 15 dual ll Magnum for early post, with liberty. hope this may help, just a poor dirt no tiller! Was and still very dry to rely on rain activated herbicides. Everything is smoked now and have had 2 showers, beans are popping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Michigan No Till said:

Cliff, mares tail has become a secondary winter annual for us. On our no til. Sharpen, Metribuzin, and glyposatate Pre-plant. Wanted to use sulfentrozone, Metribuzin, and prowl H20, with the glyposatate. But chickened out on the prowl and sulfentrozone for the 1 once of Sharpen cause it kills them broadleaf weeds! Short residual they say but, late grass and lambsquarter is the new boots on our block! Saving the group 15 dual ll Magnum for early post, with liberty. hope this may help, just a poor dirt no tiller! Was and still very dry to rely on rain activated herbicides. Everything is smoked now and have had 2 showers, beans are popping.

Used Powermax, Metribuzen and Valor this year. See how it does with no rain

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Michigan No Till said:

What I was meaning to state, no rain to activate residuals, like ChrisNY is telling us all. No rain, No action.

Here is an interesting video on that topic

https://www.realagriculture.com/2021/05/corn-school-managing-pre-emerge-herbicides-in-dry-spring-conditions/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best corn I ever had was no till 2 years ago.  Beans last year were my best looking ones but no August rains so the bean size was very small.  Even with that they still made mid 50s and were my most profitable beans per acre ever.  Soybean burndown was Sharpen and glyphosate on one farm sprayed by me. 2,4-d, zidua sc and glyphosate on another sprayed by the co-op.  My beans are all gt27.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my area of SD, we are usually drier than wet. No till has been working well until the last 2 years when we had record rainfall and flooding. Last 2 years we have had to do some tillage to dry soil and incorporate residue. Prior to that, I was notill. I like to see residue completely covering the soil to help retain moisture. Must have good trash wheels on planter to blacken row to help warm soil. Last planter was a white with HD down pressure springs, floating trash whippers and one spiked closing wheel. Now run a 1250 CIH with precision parts. Deltaforce helps get seed at correct depth. The problem more often than not is closing the seed trench. A lot of my riverbottom land is a heavy clay type soil that can be hard to close seed trench if too wet. If you're lucky, a rain after planting will help with a partially open trench and will activate pre chemicals. Rest of ground is more sandy which doesn't hold water well. When dad farmed it by discing, field cultivating, and row cultivating he would be lucky to get into the low 100s on corn, usually under. After going to no till and adding more fertilizer, I have been knocking on the door to 200 bpa. Also, notill savings in time fuel and iron costs is substantial. I dont know if there is a place that can support notill indefinitely. Weather seems to be changing and that will dictate the practices that will be successful each year. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, 1958560 said:

In my area of SD, we are usually drier than wet. No till has been working well until the last 2 years when we had record rainfall and flooding. Last 2 years we have had to do some tillage to dry soil and incorporate residue. Prior to that, I was notill. I like to see residue completely covering the soil to help retain moisture. Must have good trash wheels on planter to blacken row to help warm soil. Last planter was a white with HD down pressure springs, floating trash whippers and one spiked closing wheel. Now run a 1250 CIH with precision parts. Deltaforce helps get seed at correct depth. The problem more often than not is closing the seed trench. A lot of my riverbottom land is a heavy clay type soil that can be hard to close seed trench if too wet. If you're lucky, a rain after planting will help with a partially open trench and will activate pre chemicals. Rest of ground is more sandy which doesn't hold water well. When dad farmed it by discing, field cultivating, and row cultivating he would be lucky to get into the low 100s on corn, usually under. After going to no till and adding more fertilizer, I have been knocking on the door to 200 bpa. Also, notill savings in time fuel and iron costs is substantial. I dont know if there is a place that can support notill indefinitely. Weather seems to be changing and that will dictate the practices that will be successful each year. 

Have you tried the Yetter saw tooth closing disks ? We have been using them for 15 years , actually was another brand that looked identical but they must've went out of business or patent infringement. They have worked great for us.  We usually flip them on the bearings to be more aggressive than the stock position

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...