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Cover crops and tillage


maplegrovefarms
(@maplegrovefarms)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 1073
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 This spring showed over a large area the power of the addiction of tillage. And now there's a huge interest in cover crops for the prevent plant Acres but I've heard so many of them talk about how they still need to do that spring tillage.

Why would you invest into a cover crop give it a whole season to grow and do what it needs to do and let the soil start to heal and you're getting paid to do it through your insurance payment and then to go in next spring and tear it all up and start all over?

The tillage is why you need to go in the spring and do tillage to make the soil fit to plant into.

If you had soil structure and fixed your drainage issues you would be able to Simply Drive in the spring with a planter put your crop in on time! Then you would be able to come back through the season when it's time and take care of your crop. But no we had to destroy the soil structure last fall to deal with corn stalks because we blame the corn stalks on our  mud in the spring. So then we have to do spring tillage to make the ground fit enough to plant into. But for the rest of the summer that ground is exposed so every time it rains a majority of the rain water runs off or sits on the surface using up some of our nitrogen. And then the sunlight hits the soil now we have a tremendous amount of water loss in the soil through evaporation and respiration of the plants. We have basically created huge drought effects from very minor delays of rain. If we would have left the cover crops alone and just no till plant into them in the spring we would have better water infiltration we would have less water lost through evaporation greatly reducing our drought affect.

Come fall time we'd have less ruts to deal with meaning there be less need for deep tillage in the fall so next spring you would have less need for spring tillage which now starts the cycle of healing the soil!

 

It takes several years for that structure to build but with one year under cover crops it would be amazing how much improvement a guy can see.

 


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