Transition to no-till

Barry Fisher

A soil health expert says transitioning to a no-till system will require changes to how farmers fertilize and scout their crops.

Barry Fisher works for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana where he helped launch a conservation cropping systems initiative.

He tells Brownfield as producers reduce tillage and organic matter builds, the carbon cycle will be effected.

“That also effects your nitrogen cycle, so rather than having a flush and a release of nitrogen with spring tillage; as you reduce tillage, that mineralization process happens in more of a sustained release throughout the summer.”

Because of that, Fisher says producers might be inclined to add more nitrogen up front.

“We do like to focus a lot more on early spring and/or early growing season side-dress applications of nitrogen.  That just compliments the no-till system so much more.”

He says the transition to no-till farming will also require a change in how farmers scout.

“You may not have as much rootworm pressure, but you might have the potential for an army worm flight to come into those cover crops.  So we really focus a lot on changing what you’re scouting for.”

That includes scouting for habitat conducive to beneficial organisms above and below the soil.

Fisher is a featured speaker at Thursday’s Land and Stewardship soil health workshop near Lewiston in southeastern Minnesota.




Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!