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After the last 3 of 4 years being wet I've decided to switch back to some form of fall tillage. Some fields requiring more than others from using narrow points applying fert to full on disking. Unfortunately I've had to set all good agronomic practices aside and do what I can to get the crop in next year. I think some sort of an aggressive vertical tillage will be important in the future.(I have demoed many brands) We should have tilled last year, most that did saw increased yield in our saturated soils. Anyone else feeling like zero til isn't suited for our current weather patterns?
 

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Unfortunately I've had to set all good agronomic practices aside and do what I can to get the crop in next year.

I agree with what your doing, I just wanted to comment on this comment because it seems so wrong.

What good agronomic practices are you setting aside?
Doing something that doesn't allow you to get a crop in the ground is the furthest thing from a good agronomic practice.
Believing all the propaganda that companies push on us is not good agronomics if they are not working for you.
 

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Agronomically whats better for weed control? Trying to rotate herbicides or throw in some tillage and really change it up. Do whats best for your farm and your soil. (spiking everything this fall myself)
 

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We have been zero till for several years but am going to work most of our land, just too many years of saturated soils is just destroying everything. Dont want to do it but dont know what else to do.
 

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We use our 50' cultivators. We remove levelling harrows off the back and install 1.5" chisels. We find the ridges gobble up the residue, holds back slugs and really help with spring dry down. Is the cheapest form of tillage at $2.60/acre for fuel. We have rippers and disks which do serve a purpose when absolutely needed as well, but the costs are parabolic in comparison.
 

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Been fall applying fertilizer blends since 1991. Always seen drier /warmer soil in spring with some tillage. We are usually cold and wet longer here. Seed directly into that after heavy harrow. 90% in this area fall till now.
 

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Plan to till everything starting with a ring around everything. No expensive vertical tillage junk here. Bourgualt 8800 worth about 5 grand.
 

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I agree with what your doing, I just wanted to comment on this comment because it seems so wrong.

What good agronomic practices are you setting aside?
Doing something that doesn't allow you to get a crop in the ground is the furthest thing from a good agronomic practice.
Believing all the propaganda that companies push on us is not good agronomics if they are not working for you.
Hello Jason Hildebrand
What he said!
I'm hoping that it dries up some so that I can till my fields this fall. Probably going to be another 1 of those years where I'll have to wait until there is a crust of frost so that I can travel over my land without everything balling up with mud!:mad: I do know that if I don't at least scratch it up a little bit this fall, I'll have pretty much no chance of getting a crop in next spring, unless we have some real drought conditions.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There is a lot of negatives to tillage such as
Fert leeching
Soil erosion
Destruction of organic matter
Fuel usage
Equipment cost/depreciation

None of these things matter if you can't plant a crop so I'm picking the lesser of the evils.
 

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I agree with the benefits of zero till for those reasons Jason, I wonder what the detrimental effects of not seeding ground for a year or two have on those benefits if it could have been seeded with some tillage. I realize that some organic matter destruction would happen, but a year of nothing growing isn't helping build organic matter, it also increases salinity.
 

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In our part of the world since 1994,(excessively wet). No-till,No-crop, NO FARM,had two neighbors stick with it right to the auction sale,we have to do some tillage in fall or will simply not get in the field in the spring,and no if you get enough residue it won't filtrate quicker it just stays wet longer..
 

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I don't think there's any question that in a wet, cold climate crops perform better under tillage. I have seen some dramatic examples here on the western edge of the red river valley. What works quite well for us is to chisel plow in the fall and then we run either a Joker or a Sunflower soil finisher over it in the spring for seedbed prep.
 

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zero till here means zero crop,
just incorporating the straw and having minimal soil compaction with equipment will be a lot better than leaving the field after harvest.
zero till works in dry years but in wet cold spring you find yourself in trouble imo.
 

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We plant about 50/50 every year. Last year our tilled corn did about 10bu better, this year our no-till has done about 15bu better.

Each year is a different cicumstance it seems like, so we like to diversify. Headache keeping up with everything, but all your eggs are never in one basket.
 

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We're hoping to give everything a light cultivation this fall. Its likely been 15 years since we've fall cultivated but with soils saturated and sprayer and harvest ruts everywhere I don't think we have choice.
 

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We used to use the 3"/4" twisted shovels then a second pass with a 2" spike putting down NH3.

Now use 1" Dutch NH3 openers only.

Seriously thinking of going to something more aggressive for more mixing of soil/residue, but not sure what yet. Would like to stay with a replaceable tip though!

Andrew
 

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Up in these parts, it depends on the type of soil. Lighter soils with decent subsoil drainage have performed quite well under a minimum till program even in these last few really wet years. Then I get into my heavy land and the tables turn 180 degrees. This year, an old favorite came back for a trip across some real problematic land.

Plough Agricultural machinery Vehicle Soil Tractor


It is not for everyone, by any means, but you have to look at each field individually, and make the decisions based on soil type and soil profile. I have some light land that I would never think of plowing, but this heavy ground, seems to respond well to the plow.
 

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I see my neighbour across the fence working his fields up to ten times a year, to keep weeds down and such, it's just so wrong looking at what I'm doing across the fence to persevere moisture and grow crops continuesly every year...

This thread is like the opposite of that...
 

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I have a question, this coming from a guy who has grown up under a no till system since I was 14, only real tillage has been low areas and fire guards. What is too deep to go and what is too shallow to do much good and what is enough vs too much? I am doing some now as well, running old chisel plow with 4"reversables around 2-3" deep, wishing it was a larger unit right now, but it is working.
 

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I am sticking with no till. I don't feel that we are excessively wet this fall. Although a lot of neighbours do. I don't want to negate the long term benefits of no till. The wether is really what makes the difference. If it's a dry spring, it will all be in by mid May. If it's wet we will fight into June like the last couple years. Have not seen a big difference between neighbours tilled land and our no till.
 
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