No till drilling of cereals complete!

Smallplot

Active Member
Went into the alfalfa that is struggling this year and no-tilled in a mix of BFO and winter wheat with a sprinkling of the Brassica mix which consists of mostly rape and radish. Oh added a couple small bags of WI Winter Greens as well.

It is dry and was not sure I could directly no-till due to how dry the ground was. Worked and actually have good coverage of the planted seeds.

Those that know me may ask why winter wheat over winter rye, the honest answer is it is an experiment. I know the benefits of the rye would outweigh those of winter wheat and likely next year I will regret this decision when the area goes back into beans for a season but I just have to try it. This is about 4 acres planted adjacent to the brassica in my other thread.

While both areas were treated the same, cut and baled last week one area is void of most remaining vegetation the second area didn’t cut well and has many areas with long stems left. There is some alfalfa left so I hope to keep that when I spray (hopefully today) with Glyphosate.

The Alfalfa was a very nice plot but after a couple years of neglect and a wet spring and early summer, it has suffered.

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Smallplot

Active Member
Sprayed everything today, the day after planting. Some areas look like the alfalfa may be better than I originally thought. I will have to run out and grab some pics of the other plot as it was dark last night when I started planting it. Forgot to grab any today while I was spraying. Had one of those need to hurry home moments.


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Smallplot

Active Member
As promised, here are some pics. Of the other no till drilled field.

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Brassicas are on the far left side of this picture. As you can see, at least from a perspective it appears the drill (again it is a Great Plains 603NT for those not familiar with my past posting history so it is a scaled down version of a big boy drill that weighs in around 3K pounds.) did as it was designed and made a good furrow.

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Even in areas with thicker thatch. It has been long enough that most of the remaining plant material was dry. Remember when using a no-till drill the stuff you are drilling into needs to either be dead or green and growing. The in between stages tend to hairpin and this causes issues after your seeds germinate.

As far as the seedbed made, because that is what a no-till drill basically does is makes a seedbed but only in the rows where seeds are placed. The remainder of the soil is undisturbed. This leaves the root structure and the natural soil bindings intact. You can probably see where this conversation goes.

Now a closer peek at the “seed bed”. Even when this soil, which has not been turned for about wow, 5 years now? Well it has been a while. So the soil still has some mellowness even though it has a pretty high amount of clay. Most of the seeds were covered and found about a 1/4 inch under the soil. Some are found, as these with the tip of my knife pointing at them, nestled just at the top of the soil. What you should focus on is the way the soil is “packed” around the seeds even on these shallow seeds that can be seen.

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If you look at the first photograph in this post you will see some green. That is alfalfa but there are areas where the grass and a few “weeds” has started. In spraying today the Gly (41% applied at 2 quarts per acre in my mix where I actually apply 23 gallons of mixed product per acre). This will more than take out the grasses that are actively growing 2 weeks after being cut along with the other weeds that are less than 4 inches currently.

Sorry I didn’t snap any pics of the grassy or weedy areas. The key here is they must be actively growing to absorb the Gly. The Alfalfa is RR so it will not be effected by this dose of Gly.

I sprayed with a 50% chance of rain in the forecast and crossed my fingers that I could finish at least 15 min before it began raining. Spraying the first field, I heard the tones go off that usually announce severe weather. K marched forward. Lucky it didn’t rain and after I finished when I checked I t appears there is an 80% chance of rain tomorrow so hopefully everything falls into place.

Just for time sake, I am likely going to have the coop broadcast on some much needed fertilizer on the surface. Not sure if any was added last year but following hay being taken off these areas 3 and 4 times a year over the past 5 years, it will be in need.


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cutman

Administrator
Staff member
Looks great. Good job. I’m going to stray from my long term no-till goal this fall by disking then cultivating my 25 acres of fields. I’ve had some weeds pop up that I’m having trouble controlling, so I’m going to mechanically kill them. Fall plots will go in immediately after so there is no bare soil. I had to disk after years of not doing it, but my fields need some TLC.
 

Smallplot

Active Member
Sometimes it is a necessary thing. Weeds can be relentless at times.


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buckdeer1

Well-Known Member
I haven't seen an instance where you have less weeds the first time discing unless it's during a fall crop such as WW and thats only if you are going to burn down in spring.If I disc I stir up pigweed or marestail.I have tilled as shallow as I can just to get oats or WW in but only an inch or so.
 

Smallplot

Active Member
One has to think of when these weeds usually grow and how long it takes to get to maturity. Also when plants are able to canopy you have less weed pressure most of the time.

Cereals don’t canopy well at least not in getting them when they are most attractive as a food source.


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Mennoniteman

Well-Known Member
One has to think of when these weeds usually grow and how long it takes to get to maturity. Also when plants are able to canopy you have less weed pressure most of the time.

Cereals don’t canopy well at least not in getting them when they are most attractive as a food source.


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But a lot of cereals are allopathic, especially to grasses, so a canopy is not important to keep weeds in check. This is where mechanical cultivation pays dividends, it allows the grain to get established ahead of the weeds. This allopathic effect doesn't work well in established weeds.
 

Smallplot

Active Member
But a lot of cereals are allopathic, especially to grasses, so a canopy is not important to keep weeds in check. This is where mechanical cultivation pays dividends, it allows the grain to get established ahead of the weeds. This allopathic effect doesn't work well in established weeds.

Winter rye is not so much oats or winter wheat. As far as grasses, one has to consider the time of year cereals are usually grown. This time of the year tends not to be as hard for weed control. This is a huge reason why this is a great time of the year to plant clovers. Let them establish early for that ground canopy.


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Smallplot

Active Member
Update. One week later we finally received 1.5 inches of slow rain over night. Nothing had started to sprout and I was still seeing a lot of green weeds. I could see where some of the seeds had been uncovered.

Fast forward to today, 2 weeks post drilling and spraying. We have growth. Everything except what I planted and the remaining RR alfalfa is dead.

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