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Is anyone changing tillage practices because of dry weather?


farmer john 8910

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We are not gonna do any different here but we don't have the no-till option even though dad used to work for the local SWCD!

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I am not a big no till fan either as I have already worked all my ground once. Lots of people talking about no till this year and I think they will just have a bunch of weeds and cold ground. Roundup doesnt work here anymore.

Kinda figured that time was coming for roundup......ya seems to really help the ground get up to temp quicker when u turn it over.

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I know many of you had near normal rainfall, but as dry as it has been around here and quick as it can change from normal to burnt up, I hope everyone really thinks about this question. If you ever get a chance to talk to some of the oldtimers that lived through the dustbowl or watch the History channel footage and story will sure make you consider the what ifs. Many that live in areas of "good" row crop ground do not realize how much pasture and hay ground has been turned under to try and capture some decent profit from higher grain prices on more marginal ground. Many of the CRP acres have been taken out and turned likewise. It very well could be the makings of a perfect storm. I am normally a half full Guy but when you raise livestock and farm on poorer to average ground and go thorough a few droughts you start to see how quick things can get to oh $4lt. Remember that Guy that told a man named Noah that he would never flood it all again. I don't think he mentioned turning the water down or off however. Just something to consider as I know during the great dust bowl they did not have the ability to farm the way we can now and there was a much different ratio of grass to crops, most were even using mules and horses and that fact alone tells us that farming fencerow to fencerow was not possible.

All of that said, I have some ground that will have to be worked. Some notill.

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i notill most stuff anyways works for me most times i have had just as many failures from tillage than i have had from not enough tillage. im not really changing for the drought. notilling or min till for dry weather concerns i think only helps you get a stand. after that its the sub soil that makes the crop anyways. then a little loose dirt on top might seal up some cracks and help you later so you see you cant win

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We had so much dang moisture we didn't even get any fall work done, so dry weather....at this point in time is nonissue.

Our springs are never dry, we work ground to get it to dry out and warm up some. But I don't see dry weather forcing us to do more no-till

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I am not a big no till fan either as I have already worked all my ground once. Lots of people talking about no till this year and I think they will just have a bunch of weeds and cold ground. Roundup doesnt work here anymore.

Really? Here Round up still works really nice. What do you use in place of Round Up? And how big a deal is round up resistance going to be in the dirt farmer world?

Mr Roper has a very good theses there also.

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I don't rely soley on roundup. I use some traditional herbicides from different chemical makeups to help prevent resistance. The longer you no till the less weed pressure you have as you aren't stirring up the weed seed inthe soil profile.

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100% no-till since here 1989, I do inline rip some ground every few years if it needs it. Using Sharpen on beans for a burndown along with Roundup and 2,4-D, fall sprayed almost all my corn stalks that will go to beans last fall to try to get ahead of marestale, which is my biggest problem weed.

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I don't rely soley on roundup. I use some traditional herbicides from different chemical makeups to help prevent resistance. The longer you no till the less weed pressure you have as you aren't stirring up the weed seed inthe soil profile.

Bingo............We will be having more and more issues since most people can't grasp that concept. Our chem rep comes and vents to us that you wouldn't believe how many people he sells to won't use anything other than round up, then complain they are having issues with weed resistance.

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it just amazes me how many really dirty fields you can see driving around the first part of june

then they get cleaned up by roundup and in the fall guys wonder 'why didn't that corn do a little better'

pre emerge harness xtra/ hornet on soy stubble and corn x corn (co-op gives better deal on pre emerge spraying, too) , roundup on sod corn and roundup beans

on topic: gonna take the wait and see approach on spring tillage. did some chiseling of cornstalk ground last fall, as usual.

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I went all no-till fall of 2011 with wheat. Had some mixed results last summer (2012) because of the drought but my crops were average compared to everyone elses here and I didn't have as much in chemical or tillage fuel and labor/time. Wheat averaged 50 bu/ac and thats fair for here but I didn't use any fertilizer either.

I'm going to 100% no-till permanently I believe and going to be using some cover crop mixes to build soil health I believe. Going to the AIM conference next week in hopes I can pick up some useful info there. I don't remember my last vacation so if nothing else it'll be a road trip and a nice dip in the indoor pool at the motel, lol.

Everyone I talk to that has stuck with no-till says about the same thing...the first year they didn't care for it too much but every year got better, the soil improved and erosion slowed or stopped and then they liked it so much they wouldn't go back to conventional tillage. I talked to an old retired farmer today about some rental ground that said the same thing. He said he would occasionally need to chisel some high traffic areas for compaction but that's it.

I really think these cover crops are going to be the wave of the future with fertilizer, chemical and fuel prices going up. Plus I can incorporate some stuff like Prosso millet into them to provide extra food for my quail!

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I have been no-till for several years now and won't be making any changes. I just got some soil tests back and my organic matter has increased from 3-3.5 to over 5. Hard to beat that. And I do have cold, wet soils in the spring. No-till can work, many times it's the farmers mindset and not the soil that is the limiting factor. I'm not pointing a finger at anyone on here, just saying......

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I have been no-till for several years now and won't be making any changes. I just got some soil tests back and my organic matter has increased from 3-3.5 to over 5. Hard to beat that. And I do have cold, wet soils in the spring. No-till can work, many times it's the farmers mindset and not the soil that is the limiting factor. I'm not pointing a finger at anyone on here, just saying......

Well, my productivity has fallen off every year since 2008 anyway so it was time to do something different. My soil compacted terribly in conventional tillage already so about anything should be an improvment. I started using a chisel for deep tillage and even that didn't help. I know now that problem was directly related to organic matter because I always overworked my soil trying to get a seedbed.

Of course, that said...we've had four years here of progressively worse weather too so it wasn't all my fault but I think the impacts of the declining weather here would have been lessened to an extent had I been in no-till already. 5% organic matter is pretty incredible from 3-3.5. Do you use any verticle tillage or anything?

Anyone use cover crops? Growing trend here, though it's been limited to wheat and radishes or turnips. I think I'm going to use crimson clover before corn/milo/wheat. Prosso millet, oats, crimson clover, pearl millet, radish, sunflower mix before beans. Still under development though depending on what I lean at this conference next week.

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question for the no tillers: do you have pretty consistent soil types across your fields or does that not matter?

from watching the bto next door i can see these next generation chopping corn heads are really going to make no till easier

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We use everything from no-till to conventional here.................I like no-till but its not a cure-all, end-all IMO..............Same goes for tillage. We mix/match. I do believe to ground needs worked every once in awhile. Inline deep rip and we run shanks on our sidedresser. We actually had better weed control with a plow(because of tomatoes) running it every 4 years, burying everything and then with herbicides, no-till, and cover crops we get a good handle on it. But our hill ground never sees a plow, just inline ripper. I personally think the plow will have its day again............I don't think Vertical tillage will keep the residue that is unbelieveable at bay when used year after year after year. Eventually it will need buried.

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No change here except more no-till acres, not due to weather but due to time considerations. About 1/4 of our acres will be no-till this year, maybe a little more.

Birdman- we have been using cover crops for the last few years on more and more acres every year. trying to find the right mix that works, have used straight radishes for last 3 years, this year we did straight radishes, radishes and ryegrass, ryegrass only and a mix of radishes, ryegrass, austarlian field peas and turnips.

We have found the best way to deal with alfalfa sod coming out on rotation is take 3rd cutting early August, spread manure, let it green up, burn it down and no-till radishes. come spring we no-till corn into it, gives a nice mellow seedbed.

Going to no-till corn into ryegrass this spring and see what results we get.

Never been a big fan of no-till but changes in climate and better equipment and attachments is making it a more viable option on some acres

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We use everything from no-till to conventional here.................I like no-till but its not a cure-all, end-all IMO..............Same goes for tillage. We mix/match. I do believe to ground needs worked every once in awhile. Inline deep rip and we run shanks on our sidedresser. We actually had better weed control with a plow(because of tomatoes) running it every 4 years, burying everything and then with herbicides, no-till, and cover crops we get a good handle on it. But our hill ground never sees a plow, just inline ripper. I personally think the plow will have its day again............I don't think Vertical tillage will keep the residue that is unbelieveable at bay when used year after year after year. Eventually it will need buried.

I am all corn on corn and when I tried vertical tillage it left too much trash on top and the ground stayed cold
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I am all corn on corn and when I tried vertical tillage it left too much trash on top and the ground stayed cold

Exactly.............We are going to rent a GP turbo till this spring, have one farm we just picked up this past year that was COC for 3 years, we put beans in it after chopping the stalks. I swear their is still matted down stalks from 2 years ago there yet. We got ground that ran 200+ this year and I am betting the VT isn't going to do what everyone claims it will, we are in the river bottom so that rules out any fall useage.............Chopped one year in the fall, it flooded that winter and we spent most of the spring cleaning up the residue out of the landlords yard/buildings.
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