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A true no till method

4095 Views 17 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  honker22
Anyone here ever tried it? I'm thinking of giving it a shot on one of my fields next year just to test it. Sure would cut down on a lot of time and expense if it will work. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so here you go.

http://www.aldeer.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1002098&page=1
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Hmm well if that works it will definitely be beneficial for you soil. When I took a soils class a couple of years ago my professor constantly preached about how bad tilling is for the soil profile.
Have been following that guy's work on QDMA forums for 2-3 years. He's super sharp and his work is quite inspiring. I plan to adopt his methods little by little. The only concerning part is dependence on herbicide. The method's soil health benefits are unmistakable.

The part that I think is crucial to his method that might go a little unnoticed is the need for timely rain.
Have been following that guy's work on QDMA forums for 2-3 years. He's super sharp and his work is quite inspiring. I plan to adopt his methods little by little. The only concerning part is dependence on herbicide. The method's soil health benefits are unmistakable.

The part that I think is crucial to his method that might go a little unnoticed is the need for timely rain.
I thought I remembered you mentioning something about this in the past. I'd love to see you try it and see your results here locally. We normally don't have the amount of winter blend to mow down a thick layer of thatch like he has so that has me a bit concerned as well. But, on the positive side, anything will be better than what we were left with this year. You get any summer plots in on the place?
I have done something like he is doing for a fall food plot.

The food plot had grown up in weeds and grass all summer. I sprayed the food plot with glyphosate in late September. I waited 3 days and then came back in and put down my fertilizer and ryegrass seeds. Then bushogged the plot down, making sure that the bushog discharged the cut debris back over the cut area.

The cut weeds and grass act as a mulch over the ryegrass seed. I used a rate of 50 lbs of ryegrass seed per acre for this no till method vs the 30 lb rate for the traditional method.

I was lucky and got a good, heavy rain in the next few days. The ryegrass came up great. It looked just as good as a tilled plot would have.

I am going to do another plot using this method again this fall.
You get any summer plots in on the place?
None. I swear there used to be 4-5 more weekends in a year.

I also remember thinking the volume of mature grain stalks he shows being more than what I could produce. But I don't know, toward then end of April it tends to amaze me how lush our fertility void logging deck plots look. Maybe you need to spend more time in the woods in turkey season. ;)

Seriously, you don't have to worry about a lot of the problems he's trying to combat. That Delta dirt is hard to mess up. His (and mine) is less so -- tillage can be quite harmful. Maybe I've watched too many permaculture YouTube vids and am turning hippy... If he links any of those vids on aldeer, you should check them out, btw.
None. I swear there used to be 4-5 more weekends in a year.

I also remember thinking the volume of mature grain stalks he shows being more than what I could produce. But I don't know, toward then end of April it tends to amaze me how lush our fertility void logging deck plots look. Maybe you need to spend more time in the woods in turkey season. ;)

Seriously, you don't have to worry about a lot of the problems he's trying to combat. That Delta dirt is hard to mess up. His (and mine) is less so -- tillage can be quite harmful. Maybe I've watched too many permaculture YouTube vids and am turning hippy... If he links any of those vids on aldeer, you should check them out, btw.
1) There is an unwritten law somewhere that states, "You will lose 5 weekends/year multiplied by the number of children you have." Trust me on this. I don't know where they go, but they are not on the calendar.

2) I don't know how any of you turkey guys think it's a challenge to kill something that only moves during the daylight, can't smell a lick and boisterously lets you know his location throughout the day. [tongue]

3) I'd love to be able to build our OM back up on the plots, but more important than that is time management. You can look back to point number one in this post to see why. [wink] I'm going to try it small scale next spring...probably with a mix of grain sorghum and cowpeas and see how it works before adopting it fully. Total cost for where I'm wanting to test it will be less than $100, so not a great loss if it doesn't work.

YL, I'd love to see pics of your project from step one to post emergence. I know you've got an incredible talent for growing groceries, so I look forward to your documenting this if you can.
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That guy has it going on. I just don't have the time or the patience to do what he does for soil building. Most people want the quick fix, which is bushog, disk, seed and watch it grow. I'd love to try the throw and mow method but am too fearful of bad results to do so. Maybe next year...
I have spent the last week reading every one of the 4 threads going back to 2012 when he started this and the results are amazing. Plus it does not take any more time and money than the traditional method.
Over the past few years I have moved 100% to No Till food plots, both summer and winter plots. It takes a while to learn the right pattern and timing for when to spray and mow. It is different for every situation based on what type of soil and weed pressure you have. But here are a few take home points.

1) Disking is the worst thing you can do. It's terrible on the soil. It is expensive. It is hard on equipment. It uses lots of fuel. It takes time. And it dries the soil out, which isn't an issue this year, but usually is during our normal hot dry Sept/Oct weather.

2) No till is CHEAPER than conventional methods. You spread out your work over a longer period of time. So it takes some dedication during the summer months. But in the end it saves on tractor hours, fuel, parts, seed, and fertilizer. No question.

3) No till provides more forage for the animals, especially when combined with legumes. We have several areas where the summer and fall plots are overlapping right now. Such as where we have wheat drilled into Joint Vetch and wheat drilled into Durana. It allows you to move seamlessly from one season to the other. It saves on fertilizer too. We never use nitrogen any more.

4) We never worry about a rain. The mowed and sprayed grass from summer plots acts as a mulch and preserves soil moisture. We drill straight into mulch and we get almost instant germination. It allows us to plant earlier in the year (late Sept) when we used to have to wait until October. It also gives the wheat a head start on the growing season because germination occurs earlier in the year when it is warmer and we do not wait on a rain. The difference in germination timing can be as much as 3-4 weeks.

5) Some key things are to really understand and do your homework on herbicides. They can make you look like a genius or a fool. And to have access to a No Till drill. I rent one from Devinney in Gluckstadt for $150 per day, which makes the whole thing affordable. We can do about 20 acres in a day (Actual GPS acres, not deer hunter estimated food plot acres, which are usually off by at least a factor of 2x.

6) Drilling wheat into Durana and wheat into Joint Vetch is a game changer for us. It allows us to not have to designate plots as either Summer or Winter. They can be both. Half of out plots have Durana and half have Joint Vetch. Then we just mow, spray, and drill wheat into the plots in late Sept. Now our plots look great. The Joint vetch wheat combo is crazy. Like 30-50 deer in the plot at all times of the day and night. (big plots, heavy deer population area).

I will try to post some pictures and start new thread about our procedures. I have spent about 10 years on trial and error but we are really getting into a groove on how we do things. Will be happy to share info and answer any specific questions.

Handler
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Looking forward to seeing that, Handler. You've had some very informational and impressive threads on habitat in the past.
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Well lets see if I can remember how to do photos

Well, that went about like I expected....any help on the photo link would be appreciated
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Handler, do you no-till your sunflowers, too?
Yes. I No Till everything now. We have a disk, but the only time we use it is to disk up areas where hogs have done too much damage to drill into. We are hoping to eliminate this process also. Where the hogs are really bad to dig is where we have either Nutsedge or Johnsongrass. They go crazy for the roots.

I like No Till on the sunflowers because I can usually avoid having to use the expensive herbicides and Clearfield varieties. If you let you weeds come on strong and then smoke them with a 200% rate of glyphosate, that will keep the weeds down. If planted not to early, sunflowers emerge really fast and create a good canopy. So just follow up with one spray of Select and then pour the Fertilizer to the sunflowers. They will jump up fast and stay clean underneath.

I rent the 6' drill from Deviney in Gluckstadt. The drill is set at 7.5" so I just turn off every other drill and it plants on 15" rows, which helps them to reach canopy closure pretty fast.
Yes. I No Till everything now. We have a disk, but the only time we use it is to disk up areas where hogs have done too much damage to drill into. We are hoping to eliminate this process also. Where the hogs are really bad to dig is where we have either Nutsedge or Johnsongrass. They go crazy for the roots.

I like No Till on the sunflowers because I can usually avoid having to use the expensive herbicides and Clearfield varieties. If you let you weeds come on strong and then smoke them with a 200% rate of glyphosate, that will keep the weeds down. If planted not to early, sunflowers emerge really fast and create a good canopy. So just follow up with one spray of Select and then pour the Fertilizer to the sunflowers. They will jump up fast and stay clean underneath.

I rent the 6' drill from Deviney in Gluckstadt. The drill is set at 7.5" so I just turn off every other drill and it plants on 15" rows, which helps them to reach canopy closure pretty fast.
Would you be willing to write a summary of your year round process? What you plant and when? What you spray and when? What different varieties you rotate? It would be great educational information.
Yes I will begin to get something together.

Can someone remind me how to post photos. I tried last week but they didn't show up properly. I tried linking them to my Photo bucket account.
Yes I will begin to get something together.

Can someone remind me how to post photos. I tried last week but they didn't show up properly. I tried linking them to my Photo bucket account.
You can link, using one of the Photobucket codes... I always forget which one so I try one and "preview post". You can post pretty much any pic from a cell phone, but it may be downsized.
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