We have been farming the field on the left of a number of years with reduced tillage methods. The field on the right has had conventional tillage. The hillside erosion differences were quite evident this spring.
The affect of tillage on hillside erosion. More clay showing on the right.
A big thank you to all the U of M staff for putting on a fantastic field day at Morris, MN today! Jodi DeJong-Hughes led this multi-station field day. Five different stations were set up to focus on Tillage and Technology:
New tillage technology
Planter set–up for moderate residue levels
Residue management of corn–soybean rotations
Tillage influence on soil properties
Building soil health with improved soil structure
These sessions were followed by equipment field demonstrations showing chisel plow tillage with various points, vertical tillage and strip tillage.
The weather couldn’t have been nicer for a field day. Upper 60s, slight breeze and partly cloudy. It was a great chance to meet old friends and make new connections as well.
Here’s the U of M’s description of the day:
Crop producers and other agricultural professionals can see the latest in variable depth tillage equipment, watch side–by–side field demonstrations by national and regional manufacturers, and learn how to build soil structure for maximum soil productivity. Other highlights include the following:
Discover how strip tillage can fit into your rotation and individual soil situations.
Check out proper planter set–up for improved crop emergence and residue management.
Discuss how to save time and money while building soil productivity.
Visit with equipment reps about their new products and services.
After much of the snow melted away we were presented with a stark comparison of wind erosion on our Ridge Till field versus the neighbors well worked field. If you click on the photo to the left to enlarge, you will see almost black covered snow compared to our nearby ditch. The photo to the right is a shot down the field.
Our soybean cyst nematode counts from the fall of 2013 sampling brought us some surprise results. Cyst counts have dropped dramatically from the direction we had seen in the pas years’ samples. This was not just a one field phenomenon but across all fields sampled.
I would like someone to take a shot of explaining this to me. Is it weather related? We have been using PI88788 soybeans for many years on these fields in a corn soybean rotation.
This blog has been rather quiet through the winter. You would think that there’s lots of time to post once in a while but it just seems to fall to the bottom of my list.
Winter started with a bang. All was going well but we still had one more job to do, pull soil samples in the corn ground to test for soybean cyst nematodes. Sounds simple enough but not when you have an impending snow breathing down your neck. November 5, 2013 was the beginning of the end of our nice fall weather. Samples were pulled on three fields and as snow began to fall we scrambled to get the most critical areas sampled of the last field.
By the time the fourth and final sample was pulled, we already had 1″ of snow on the ground and it was coming down heavy and wet. One of the soil probes gave up working in these conditions. We woke up the next morning to this. Fall was officially over.
After a long, cold spring the weather has finally turned favorable for corn planting in Redwood County, MN. There were a few neighbors putting in corn last week but planting began in full force on Monday, May 6 from most area farmers. Everyone worked hard and fast with the impending rain in the forecast for Wednesday. The rain did come and now we wait again for the next window of opportunity.
Had a great meeting on Friday, February hosted by the Nicollet and Sibley Counties U of M Extension. Jody DeJong-Hughes put presented on many soil related topics. It was an intensive 8 hour class designed to provide a basic understanding of soil science principles.
Links to some of Jodi’s publications: Soil Compaction, The Soil is Alive!, Tires, Traction & Compaction
A big thank you to all involved.