5 year study soil health vs tillage.
taking a 40 acre parcel to create a 5 year trial. it will be stripped so a couple round of soil health then a couple round of tillage leaving a couple rows on the edge of each as a buffer. alternating this pattern across the field.
will have to use same herbicides, fertilizer program, seed population, hybrid, planting date... the only difference will be soil health practices vs tillage.
field will be grid sampled each year, and also some soil health evaluations be done.
soil health side will be covers and either strip till or no till.
tillage will be fall dmi disked ripped and spring finished. keeping track of that fuel.
after the 5 years is up it will be interesting to see differences
I never looked into it, but I like the idea.
One idea would be. Say if you have a 25 foot disk, do a round (50 feet) tilled and then skip 50 feet of no till, and do that across the field.
I would like to see how the differs.
That's how it's going to be set up. But at Harvest we will leave a couple buffer rows on the side of each practice.
Got this planted over the weekend. Let the fun begin!
the only down side i see is that stripping the field with alternating tillage and soil health strips with buffer strips between will help slow down erosion. The tilled strips will not have the level of erosion representative of a whole field. erosion would undoubtedly intensify if a whole section was tilled.
That being said, there is no perfect way to combat every aspect of a perfect comparison. I think you have the most feasible plan to get the most fair results.
That's a good thought. I was worried about the fact that if a soil health is Downstream it would have more water to deal with cuz the runoff from the tilled as well?
That is true, you have yourself a catch 22 scenario right there.
It will be fun to see if there is a difference on a bad weather year.