No-Till advocates will be quick to tell you about how much benefit they are seeing by not tilling the fields. Most will say how much time it saves (we aren’t actually convinced on that as no-till fields tend to need a lot of attention) and that they have seen yield improvements.
While it certainly seems a good option to try, there are certain problems that can rear their ugly heads and cause longstanding crop and yield issues. Here we take a look at 3 easy tips to help you with your no-till fields.
1. Don’t be stubborn
No-till doesn’t mean a complete abstinence from tilling for the rest of our farming days. There will be times where your land has become rutted and damaged from combine machinery and a quick and easy solution is to defer back to a season of tilling or low-tilling to restore some soil quality. Switching up to a low till field can have a surprisingly good result for many no-till harvests to come.
2. Cover Crops
Planting cover crops in the off season means that your soils don’t crack and dry out or lose nutrients. This is so useful over the winter months as cover crop roots will retain moisture and keep your soil in tip top fertile condition for when you need sow your main crop in spring. Cover crops also generate additional income, so they are not to be ignored.
We have always been told by farmers and no-till advocates just how incredible a cover crop can be, in fact; we have done entire articles on them so click here to check them out.
3. Irrigate Correctly
No-till fields are thirsty fields. Rutting from machinery and lack of soil movement otherwise causes pockets of dry areas and other areas that are retaining too much moisture. Ensuring that run off areas are in place where needed and that all other aspects of the soil are irrigated correctly will make for a very happy no till field. You can also check out our article on the exciting prospect of variable rate fertigation here.
No-tilling is not an easy practice, some say it is actually more difficult than tilling and working the land. But no-tilling does have its apparent advantages when it is done correctly. Because it needs to be done correctly it is so important to always bear in mind the above 3 simple tips as they could be the key to making your no-till efforts pay off.
Rutting from machinery will really have an impact on your land and it is especially important to get on top of it as it can cause yield reductions or poor crop quality. Smart irrigation systems and fertigation systems will enhance your no-till fields and monitoring them using drones and other unmanned devices will give you the opportunity to rectify any problems immediately.
Are you a no-till farmer? Have you been rewarded by your efforts? Let us know how you have made no-tilling work for you and share any tips or stories in the comments below. Perhaps you have a go to solution for your no-till fields that we have missed, or you avoid the machinery rutting altogether? Let us know your experiences below and don’t forget to check back in for more up to date tech news and valuable precision farming discussions.