Nearly fifty New Jersey farmers and agricultural service providers convened on Friday, March 1st, 2019 to discuss no-till planters and drills. The event was planned and organized by North Jersey RC&D and New Jersey NRCS and hosted by Tom Meyers in Pittstown, New Jersey.
John Nance, head of sales for Prescription Tillage Technology, started the meeting by discussing how to troubleshoot common concerns including irregular seed depth, seeds at the soil surface, open seed slots, compacted soil on top of the seeds, hairpinning, sidewall compaction, and doubles and triples. Nance emphasized that compaction frequently occurs in a no-till systems when blades are dull and under too much pressure.
Ever see your corn roots going down your trench? That's subsurface compaction & sidewall smear.
Compaction, even in such a small region of the soil profile, inhibits phosphorous uptake and water infiltration and will ultimately reduce yields.
Nance involved event participants by encouraging them to share personal insights from their farming experiences and discuss equipment they've been most successful with. Nance had a wealth of knowledge about the topic and provided participants with a well-rounded and clear explanation of planter maintenance and adjustments.
Charles Martin, a Pennsylvania No-tiller, presented on "Planting Green" and his experience planting soy and corn into 5-foot tall mixes of rye, vetch, clover and small grain covers only seconds after rolling them down with a roller-crimper. Martin invented this unique one pass roller-crimper that mounts directly onto corn planters, now commercially manufactured by Dawn as the ZRX helical roller; each row unit has a 10½-inch-diameter roller with bars welded in a spiral pattern resembling tractor tire tread. "That tread design helps the rollers easily move through the plant materials," he explains. Martin shared pictures of his farm and answered participants questions about herbicide application and planting timeline.
Martin shared with a group a timeline of images showcasing cover crop planting in the fall to rolling down the cover crop and planting corn in May to the growth of a health corn crop protected with a thick blanket of cover crop mulch. He pointed out that:
When you start planting green in into tall cover, you'll be planting later in the season than most people are used to, but it catches up later on. We don't give up on yield.
Representatives from Hoober, Inc, dealers of Case IH equipment were also in attendance. They shared their accumulated expertise of more than twenty-years as specialized service technicians and dedicated parts specialists. Mark Yoda, a member of Hoober precision Agricultural Innovations Team shared troubleshooting solutions to the most common problems farmers face using precision agricultural equipment.
As the event ended, Christian Bench took a moment to remind the crowd that,
"Its never too late to plant cover crops. Even single species rye planted in December may surprise you."
Many thanks to Tom Meyers and his family for opening up their beautiful farm to host the event. And thanks to our speakers for volunteering there time and expertise with local farmers.
North Jersey RC&D No-till Tips and Tricks workshop is featured on the cover of this month's "The New Jersey Farmer". Check it out!