When unable to till under cover crops

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Buckbuilder, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Buckbuilder

    Buckbuilder New Member

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    What are the effects? Thanks again guys
     
  2. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    How so? The effects are lots of organic residue on top of the soil. If you can plant through the residue, you are in business. If you can’t, you might have to do throw and mow.

    I’m no-till and never till them under. I terminate and plant through the residue. It’s great for the soil and weed control.
     
  3. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Slight bump in organic matter.
    Less soil crusting.
    More soil structure.
    Better water infiltration.
    Prevents soil baking.
    Helps hold moisture.

    If you're worried, plant something that is cheap that will do well broadcasted like buckwheat, barley, forage collards, annual clover etc.

    What was planted there, and what are you hoping to grow next?
     
  4. Buckbuilder

    Buckbuilder New Member

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    Just started soil conditioning last year with buckwheat and lime then clover. Had a low ph below 5.0, area was mostly wooded. Clover coming up nice, ph close to 6 now and climbing.
    I will be working on other small plots and edges.
    Buckwheat, Sunn hemp, peas, Clover, brassica, winter rye are what I will be concentrating on as of now.
     
    Mennoniteman likes this.
  5. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you have done your homework and are on the right track already with the things you are doing. . No-till is all the rage right now, and that method leaves all of the residue on top, which, as markdarvin pointed out, has tremendous benefits. Residue on top is the farmers friend for so many reasons. Plowing was mainly done for weed control and since glyphosate was invented tillage quickly became obsolete. However, some food plot guys without no-till equipment can't handle planting into the thick residue and have to do some tillage to get seed to soil contact in order to get the newly seeded crop to grow. One way to get around the seeding problem with no-till like cutman said is to do a throw and mow style of seeding. Or seed on top of the residue then run a disc over it lightly to shake the seeds down through.
     
  6. Buckbuilder

    Buckbuilder New Member

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    I thought nitrogen would be produced more soo if tilled under?
     
  7. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    If you're planting legumes like clover nitrogen isn't a concern anymore. You should not even be applying nitrogen fertilizer at all if you are planting clover. Just make sure that your clover is inoculated with the correct inoculent, that takes care of the nitrogen for the other crops.
     
  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Tillage kills your beneficial fungi and makes the soil bacteria produce nitrogen like crazy for a while then everything is gone. No-till brings balance to the above process and keeps the correct nutrients around for the long haul. However, limited tillage can be ok for certain types of soils to help shake things up, or to level fields. Avoid tilling deeper than several inches unless compaction is an issue, but a proper no-till program and best farming practices will remove and prevent soil compaction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  9. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    I knew before reading the comments that people on here would give you the reasons that being unable to till your cover crops is a good thing.
    If you have the equipment to do no-till, your soil will see huge improvements quickly. Even without a no-till drill or a brush hog, there are still effective methods to do no-till.
    I personally have not yet began to do no-till soil building. I think this is the year for me to take that jump. It just feels like a shame that my tiller that I love using will just sit around.
    I know these replies might not be the answers you were looking for, but I would highly suggest considering switching to no-till plotting practices. You’ll just have to trust the people on here, there’s a reason for the preaching


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
  10. MilkweedManiac

    MilkweedManiac New Member

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    Here's something I still haven't heard a lot about on here:

    If you no-till every year around my area, over time this hard clay ground gets compacted on top.

    As a result, things like pelletized lime and fertilizer have a tough time leaching through in the same way as when tilled.

    I've heard farmers around the area say that they will break up the sod every third year or so when no-tilling, just to reopen that hard crust on top.

    Again, I'm not super experienced in this area, but I've been reading on the subject and have noticed several examples of farmers who quit no-tilling once their yields plummeted as compared to regular plow/disk.

    I'll be no-tilling for the first time this spring and am looking forward to having some personal experience.
     
  11. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Far from an expert here but that's one of the reasons I added PPT and Radish to my planting last year. In theory the radish and turnips will help with that issue.
     
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  12. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I don't envy anyone trying to convert to no-till in clay. If you don't bring the cover crops immediately, it would turn to concrete on you. I thank my stars every time I work my plots that I'm on sandy soil.
     
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  13. MilkweedManiac

    MilkweedManiac New Member

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    That's a great point. I was advised by a friend/farmer to sow some various annuals into my soybeans once the leaves fall off to help avoid this very thing.
     

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