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The Bunker: Agriculture > No-till farming

There are 3 main commercial ways to do the no till planting, and it is based on your production strategy.

True no till is used mostly for grazing pastures, where you want to increase biodiversity and resilience as well as the quality of the forage. This is what is talked about by the savory institute in order to bring back dead lands, and dead pastures into increased capacity. It involves using large animals to graze down the vegetation to 2-3 inches above the soil line while the manure is deposited. The action of the animals will break up the top crust of the soil which will allow for greater water and air penetration for the roots.

Chop and drop is a style of no till where you grow a large amount of organic matter, usually a cover crop to its maximum matured height, but killing it before they go to seed. You then take the organic mater from the top and crimp it over usually with a crimp roller attachment to the tractor. the foliage is left to start decomposing 3-4 weeks before planting your main cash crops, which will be planting through the mulch layer with a seed driller. you can optionally use a disc cultivator as well to further break up the mulch layer to make it easier for seeds to germinate. This should only be done with large seeds like corn, soybeans, favas, etc. It does not work with short rotation crops or those with small seeds.

Finally there is minimal till, where you grow your cover crop and crimp just like before, but you use a cultivator to make a 4 foot wide planting section by scraping away the cover and only tilling the top 4 inches of the soil. This is what is recommended for high turn over crops such as lettuce and radishes, because the seeds are small and require light for germination.

Regardless of the growing strategy or farm production, it is a matter of trial and error to find out what best works for your situation. The main point of no till/minimum till planting is to preserve as much organics in the soil as possible, no to disturb the root channels left by decaying plant life, and to cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch to prevent evapotranspiration as much as possible. No-Till Roller Crimper HOW DOES A NO TILL SEED DRILL WORK..SEEDING NEW PASTURE TIPS, IDEAS AND THOUGHTS No-till Farming with Corn and Cover Crops in Southeastern MN Natural sequence farming: How Peter Andrews rejuvenates drought-struck land | Australian Story

Thanks to BiotechFarmer for his contribution to this section.

bunker/agriculture/no-till.txt · Last modified: 2022/06/08 07:00 by