Mudding crops in. No-till vs. tillage? - The Combine Forum

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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Mudding crops in. No-till vs. tillage?

Looks like we will be faced with a very wet and late spring here......again.

All of our open ground is sitting just as it did when the combine left it last august. The crimson clover fields have nearly zero residue left on top as the earth worms have taken it all below. The wheat fields have the standing stubble left, but the chaff and short stem pieces have all been taken below with the worms.

So now I'm faced with trying to get a crop in with heavy equipment, on soil that has set up so nicely for a drier or average year I've pulled all the ballast off, including liquid, but still, I'll be making a mess on the first field or two.

What would you do nutrient wise or otherwise, to help mitigate the damage caused by the heavy tractor this spring, planting in a no-till fashion? Would you plan on some tillage following this crop? If so, what kind? A low disturbance ripper, or a full on disk ripper?

A couple of conditions for here. We do not freeze up in the winter here. I am only an hour drive from the pacific ocean. 200' elevation. Our winters are long and wet. Up to 4' of rain, but that happens in a constant, light rain and fog. Weeks go by without seeing the sun and the soils stay saturated or over saturated, nearing anaerobic conditions in the low areas for weeks at a time.



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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 09:01 AM
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If it were me...

I'd really look at going in with an inline ripper then follow up with a VT type tool or field cultivator. Knowing that you like no till and have been doing so for quite some time I;d lean more toward the VT tool as the cultivator could lead to a lot of bunching. Get the inline below the hard pan and prepare for a work out. The way I see it is you are looking at two passes either way, a primary for compaction and a secondary for leveling the seed bed. I think a disc ripper is going to bury more residue than you are going to like.

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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:17 AM
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If it were me...

I'd really look at going in with an inline ripper then follow up with a VT type tool or field cultivator. Knowing that you like no till and have been doing so for quite some time I;d lean more toward the VT tool as the cultivator could lead to a lot of bunching. Get the inline below the hard pan and prepare for a work out. The way I see it is you are looking at two passes either way, a primary for compaction and a secondary for leveling the seed bed. I think a disc ripper is going to bury more residue than you are going to like.
Tillage really isn't going to do anything for compaction in the medium- to long-term. It's an illusion, and a pernicious one at that.

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-- Matt Hagny,

consulting agronomist since '94, founder Exapta Solutions ('99)


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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 10:40 AM
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I'm not sure a ripper would work if you have clay type soil you want to rip when it's dry or you can make tunnels and it could set up like tile and you can hurt yourself in the spring depending on your ground and weather which you know best I would just look at running something to smooth the field back out and get the ruts out then put a cover crop on it for next winter that would have a big root mass/ball to help with the compaction
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 11:06 AM
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Most of my land has been ripped, you don't want to do it when it is wet. The first pass will support your equipment best, each fallowing pass you will sink in more unless your weather dries out. In 96 we had 30" of rain by the end of June, some of my fields were worked 3 times trying to dry them out. It would just rain again. Half my land never got seeded.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 11:36 AM
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For this to work I think you need to get some trash biult up, even if you dump the ripper and try an inline later a VT outfit with straight gang or blades is what you would be looking for.

4' of rain in the winter! That's wicked!
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 12:10 PM
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Tillage really isn't going to do anything for compaction in the medium- to long-term. It's an illusion, and a pernicious one at that.
Knowing the OP I'm thinking he is not looking to start at no till verse tillage war like you seem to want too.

He asked for opinions on what people thought he should do for a short term solution to alleviate what has the potential to be substantial compaction and possibly rutting before getting back into his normal no till program.

I offered my opinion for that short term solution as to what I would do on my soil which may or may not be the correct solution for him. I'm thinking tillage is the best way to correct his near term problem and put him on the path to a long term solution that he wants to get back too.

So now that you clearly disagree with my opinion yet fail to provide any relevant or useful advice, instead just throwing out a random drive by comment, would you like to offer your opinion to a solution to the question that was asked? Somehow I am doubting it.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 02:37 PM
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Got to thinking.

You get 4 feet of water in the winter, not knowing what your summer rains amount to I would still have to think your sub soil is super saturated? Wrong? I follow you when you talk about your area but it's so far different then anything I think of in the US.

So here is something you could consider and logistics might make it impossible but have you ever considered sunflowers?
They root very deep and can consume 9 gallons per plant in a single growing season.
If you could plant them with that outfit of yours and then come back later and broadcast a cover crop on it you could get some residue accumulation plus empty out some of that water out of your sub soil.
Since they are so deep rooted capable of going down around 20 feet you could get compaction broke up a little. They could also be seeded pretty late getting you to a little drier weather maybe?

There is lots I don't understand about your area so my ideas may not be possible but I think it's worth suggesting.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Knowing the OP I'm thinking he is not looking to start at no till verse tillage war like you seem to want too.

He asked for opinions on what people thought he should do for a short term solution to alleviate what has the potential to be substantial compaction and possibly rutting before getting back into his normal no till program.

I offered my opinion for that short term solution as to what I would do on my soil which may or may not be the correct solution for him. I'm thinking tillage is the best way to correct his near term problem and put him on the path to a long term solution that he wants to get back too.

So now that you clearly disagree with my opinion yet fail to provide any relevant or useful advice, instead just throwing out a random drive by comment, would you like to offer your opinion to a solution to the question that was asked? Somehow I am doubting it.


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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-15-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Got to thinking.

You get 4 feet of water in the winter, not knowing what your summer rains amount to I would still have to think your sub soil is super saturated? Wrong? I follow you when you talk about your area but it's so far different then anything I think of in the US.

So here is something you could consider and logistics might make it impossible but have you ever considered sunflowers?
They root very deep and can consume 9 gallons per plant in a single growing season.
If you could plant them with that outfit of yours and then come back later and broadcast a cover crop on it you could get some residue accumulation plus empty out some of that water out of your sub soil.
Since they are so deep rooted capable of going down around 20 feet you could get compaction broke up a little. They could also be seeded pretty late getting you to a little drier weather maybe?

There is lots I don't understand about your area so my ideas may not be possible but I think it's worth suggesting.
I would love to grow sunflowers. I believe I recently read that we can grow them here very well. I know we can in a garden, but......... I just have to have some sort of market, or a cost effective way to get them to market. I can grow soybeans and even grain corn, but have no access to cbot markets.

About june the rains stop and do not return until october. We used to get a small rain in september then a break to seed things, then rain for the winter. Now that has been changing over the past several years. We get nothing from may until october, then the rains start and no breaks to plant. 2016 fall was about the lowest acreage planted for the area ever. Some people had all their land worked to a dry powder waiting for that one rain to sustain a planted seed. The clouds opened up and never closed. Some got 0 acres planted and still have 0. We were able to plant several acres of crimson clover notill so we had capilary action feeding the seed at night.Our crimson looks great. We mucked up the 1590 trying to get 70 acres of winter wheat in. Its ok, but almost had to leave the tractor in the field for the winter.

The last video on my channel was me one passing wheat into tillage radish that was one passed onto a 7 year no-till field. hat wheat was a bin buster. An hour after I finished planting that field, the clouds open fire. The next day, you could not tell I had been there planting the field, the soil was washed off of the volunteer radish and the radish was lush green and looking good. It was'nt until sprayed the first herbicide to control the radish that anyone knew we had planted the field. Then you should have heard the coffee shop.

How many gdus do sunflowers take, and how warm does the soil need to be to plant them



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