Agweb Category Id

Tale of Two Tillage Systems

Strip-till and no-till can offer benefits; find out if they’re right for your farm

Ten years ago, north-central Iowa farmer Dave Gerber did what few dare—he switched all of his 1,100 acres from conventional tillage to strip-till in just one season. He now spends 60% less on diesel fuel, 20% less on fertilizer and estimates 60% slower depreciation on his equipment. 

Tiny Organisms, Giant Impact

New spin on old technology can boost crop health

While biological products in agriculture have been around since the 1920s, new waves of technology are more focused than those of old. Today, the four major types of biologicals in the marketplace can be applied to the seed, in-furrow or broadcast. 

Starved Soil Kills Yield Potential

You’re always pushing for better yields, and all the pieces finally fell together in 2016. Record or near-record yields across the country not only topped off grain bins but also depleted soil nutrients. As you plan for your 2017 crop, it’s important to replenish soil nutrients so yield isn’t held back from reaching its potential.

It Doesn't Take Much to Ruin No-Till

Study finds a single horizontal tillage pass significantly reduced water infiltration

Among the reasons healthy soil produces higher yielding crops is that healthy soil can take in and store more water. One way to create healthier soil is to refrain from tillage. That’s not exactly news.

But how much will you reduce the infiltration rate if you run a tillage tool through well-structured soil just one time? And how much will a cover crop improve infiltration if soil already has a healthy crumb-like structure? 

Real-World Soil Health Builders

How four farmers found the right cover crop to fix their soil’s problems

Without question, cover crops can improve soil health—and better soil health means more efficient use of resources and the potential for higher yields. But failing to select the right cover crop will waste money as surely as dense, crusted soil wastes rainfall.

Nitty Gritty of Good Soil Health

Microscopic organisms can make or break your crop

In a single teaspoon of soil there are 1 billion microbes. Even though you can’t see microbes, they play a key role in your crop’s success or failure. 

“It’s important to keep microbes happy—they can’t function alone and so much of what farmers do depends on them,” says Bob Perry, general manager, Perry Agricultural Laboratory, a soil testing lab in Bowling Green, Mo.

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