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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - Question on discing crops under.

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IaGary

07-21-2012 06:49:18
108.160.229.48



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What is the advantage to do so?

Does it save nutriants for next years crop?

Thinking about it but I don't want the soil to erode either.

I have a lot of acres of corn that are brown with no ears.

Never have had to think about this before in my 38 years of farming.

Gary




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Teddy (punchie)

07-31-2012 18:00:57
74.98.58.35



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Look up corn stovers if I spelled it right. IF recall it was Iowa that had a study on it. Lose most of your N, about 1/2 P and K if I recall.



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jackinok

07-24-2012 07:20:09
162.58.82.135



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Hey gary, a little more info for you.the idea behind this goes something like this. Basicaly what your doing is composting accross your whole field. What happens is the normal bacteria in your soil,and the crops themselves start breaking it down,or rotting it away if you will. This proccess actualy LOCKS UP nitrogen initialy. And thats why I say you may want to chop it first with your mower,simply put this exposes more surface area of your stalks to these bacteria so it rots faster because they multiply at a huge rate. A couple of things are working against you though (especialy this year). These bacteria ,just like all others need certain things to live. They need air,water, food,and warmth. Your stalks are the food,this year we certainly have warmth,and if you dont bury them to deep tilling the soil adds air, but water is a big factor now. With low water such as in this drought they simply dont multiply near as fast,so nitrogen stays locked up longer simply because theres not so many bacteria working. Now,once they eat all your food,they start to die,simply put they starve. THIS is what adds the nitrogen to the soil! Even though you cant see them theres billions apon billions of them and their decomposing bodies add nitrogen to the soil. Just like a fish around your corn plant roots,or you chemical fertilizer. So theres a period where this actually lessens nitrogen in the soil,followed by a period of plenty. In this dry weather we are having its liable to take a long time for your crop to completly break down,so i would recommend doing it as early as possible,to avoid starving your next crop of nitrogen. This is of why lots of folks see a drop in production when they switch from conventional till to no till at first,it simply takes time for these bacteria to build up in the soil to the point to where the process is more or less continual. no till simply puts the layer where these bacteria work at the soils surface,there they get all they need naturaly,but it dries out and it can get too hot so activity slows. Minimum till puts this area slightly deeper,same process same result but deeper in the soil. Full till does the exact same thing also,but there again your putting you food(stalks) down in an area where air becomes a limiting factor so again you slow down the process. All use the same idea,all have their uses,all have their pros and cons. but the proccesses remain the same. the same principal would apply lots of times to dry or liquid fertilizers one is simply faster. All that being said, what or when you intend to replant would maybe be your best guide.If your going to go back in shortly with say soybeans,leave the stalks on the surface.this would make the bacteria work right at the surface, would give you a boost the beans need to sprout and get established,but wouldnt set them back from too much nitrogen at the roots. If your planting say wheat,that can use that nitrogen ,disc them in .this puts it at the roots basicaly where wheat needs it.IF you plan to try to HOLD this nitrogen till next spring ,PLOW it under.this cuts down on losing it naturaly to the atmosphere but also slows it down so it will be more readily available in the spring. Its all a proccess,its going to happen, you can use it or it can mess you up and set you back. hope this helps,,

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billonthefarm

07-23-2012 19:39:12
97.64.182.189



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Gary Sorry to hear about your crops. I remeber 88 and this could be worse for us as well. We still could have triple digit yields on all of our acres if we get some rain and cooler weather but we are all losing hope and dealing with reality that is confronting us. I didnt think this dirt would ever let us down. I now understand the look in my great grandads eyes when he talked of "36".
Good luck! bill

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donjr

07-23-2012 11:21:34
71.248.67.25



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Here in Maryland, they pay us to plant cover crops of wheat, rye and a few other crops. From what I read, but I can't prove it, they say rye has a tendency to sequester nutrients somewhat and release them as the crop breaks down next year. Most everything we planted this year is into a rye cover, and for the most part, our corn looks pretty good right now.



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jackinok

07-23-2012 08:42:44
162.58.82.135



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
i do it, but i live in a area thats dry more often than wet.in my opinion it helps to hold what moisture i do get by adding organic matter to the soil. will it save nutrients? it depends ,most crops have to be turned under green to add the most nutrients back to the ground. dried crops mostly add organics that aid in moisture retention,but they will add some nutrients,and have a extra benifit of attracting earthworms and things as they decompose. soil erosion would be largly dependant on where and how you turned them under.if it were mine, and i really decided to turn them under i would run my brushhog over them first. this would make them decompose faster.then if you not going to try a second crop, such as soybeans,maybe plant a cover crop that would be turned under before planting in the spring to prevent erosion. to a certain extent this is simply a different type of farming. BE CAREFUL though, if you have crop insurance make sure you can simply plow it under.some might require you to harvest even if there little to nothing there. ive heard of that.

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cydectin

07-21-2012 19:55:55
24.182.132.238



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Nitrogen would be concentrated in the lower stalk, bad for animals as it would poison them. Stalks will have P and K and will hold it until the stalks break down. You probably have nitrogen left in the ground that corn did not use so you might consider a covercrop such as oats or rye to catch the left over N. If you are a tillage farmer, I would disc it later after we possibly get some rain then drill the cover. If you are not against no-till, I would no-till it in. Oats would be a good choice as they would catch the N then freeze out this winter. Where in Iowa are you located. I live in NEMO, 30 miles south of Keokuk just off of HWY 61 at LaGrange and we have been just hanging on all summer. Little rains that were timely but small. Will have some corn, yield is a question. Beans have looked very good and I don't how they have done it. They are headed south now and slim chances of rain. It bad to watch crops die a slow death. Best of luck to you all.

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GordoSD

07-21-2012 19:46:04
64.33.250.162



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Too late to chop it and bag it?



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IaGary

07-21-2012 21:01:32
108.160.229.48



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to GordoSD, 07-21-2012 19:46:04  
Then do what with it. Buy a bunch of cattle and loose money on them too. LOL

There will be so much silage for sale around here it may be cheaper to buy it then bag it.

Gary



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GordoSD

07-21-2012 19:43:04
64.33.250.162



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
You have to have a pretty good base on those fields. What will your crop insurance be per acre? It's public info available on USDA site.



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IaGary

07-21-2012 20:53:00
108.160.229.48



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to GordoSD, 07-21-2012 19:43:04  
My proven yield for crop insurance is 170 to 185 bushel depending on the farm.

I am insured at the 75% level. So I will be OK income wise just trying to save what I can for next years nutrients.

Gary



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GordoSD

07-22-2012 19:38:07
64.33.250.162



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 20:53:00  
How do they compute the price per bushel? An average of some sort?



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Scott in SF

07-21-2012 19:19:56
76.225.157.166



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
I would not disc it under now, it will protect the soil from erosion and help perserve moisture from wind and sun. Any chance to put cattle on it, steers just off of mom would love that stuff.



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IaGary

07-21-2012 20:55:54
108.160.229.48



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to Scott in SF, 07-21-2012 19:19:56  
Won't be any better than running on cornstalks after harvest for feed value.

Most all the fields have a low spot here or there that has some corn on it that has to be harvested and taken off my insureance.



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Eric in IL

07-21-2012 16:45:04
208.124.70.178



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Lots of "first timers" this year.

Thinking I will try to shell a few spots in each field. I have never tried to set a machine for a cob that only has a dozen kernels though.

If I could stand to look at the mess all winter, I would leave it and no-till beans next year.

Doubt if I can stand it though, will most likely hitch up the batwing.

Wondering just how many nutrients are in the stalks in a drought year. Don't see how there could be many.

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davemk

07-21-2012 13:51:42
76.177.185.150



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  

IaGary said: (quoted from post at 06:49:18 07/21/12) What is the advantage to do so?

Does it save nutriants for next years crop?

Thinking about it but I don't want the soil to erode either.

I have a lot of acres of corn that are brown with no ears.

Never have had to think about this before in my 38 years of farming.

Gary


There is a lot of P&K in those corn stalks, so yes it does save nutrients for next years crop.

If you put any P&K on the ground this year a lot of it will still be in the ground because the corn plant did not use it.
This post was edited by davemk at 13:53:10 07/21/12.

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paul

07-21-2012 08:19:13
66.44.133.112



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
Wouldn't be the thing to do in my clay, but on uncharted territory so not sure what is right?

Sorry to hear of it for you, just unbelievable how the year has gone. Was checking my fields the last couple days from what all I hear, one field has good kernal set, some others are still pollenating so can't really tell yet.

How'd you do in 1988, dad said that;s the worse he was ever through, I had a field with just a few kernals per cob. All my high ground was like that too.

--->Paul

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IaGary

07-21-2012 08:33:45
108.160.229.48



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to paul, 07-21-2012 08:19:13  
In 88 I had fields that made 150 and higher lighter soils that made 50.

Don't think I will average 50 this year.

It hit later in 88. After pollenation.

The first week of June I said this crop looks to good. Something is gonna go wrong. It did.
Gary



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paul

07-21-2012 14:39:53
76.77.202.125



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 08:33:45  
Feel for you, I'm not too far behind. The radar shows 1/2 inch rains around every few days, but I'm getting 1 - 2/10th. Not complaining, it's something, but not getting ahead, things going backwards. Way ahead of 88 'here' tho.

Went to an auction SW of me today, they are farming stuff not far away that gravel comes from. Real poor stuff over there, corn is brown & done, beans are pale.

Hope it's not my future, but closer every day.

Again, sorry for your fields, it really gets disappointing on a person.

--->Paul

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IaGary

07-21-2012 15:22:32
108.160.229.48



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to paul, 07-21-2012 14:39:53  
I had an inch last part of may. 1/2 inch the 5th or so of June. 2 tenths last week of June and that's it. Normal is about 12 inches in that time frame. We were on the dry side this winter and spring as well.

Gary



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Animal

07-21-2012 07:29:17
76.0.45.15



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
I would think shredding it would make more sense.. Microbs are supposed to die at 120 degress and I would think the ground cover would be better than bare soil, just my opinion.



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rrlund

07-21-2012 07:12:04
207.241.137.116



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to IaGary, 07-21-2012 06:49:18  
I've been wondering about the wisdom of it too. Unless it's just some kind of a pride thing. They don't want the neighbors to see such a mess. Even though the neighbors looks the same way. Or maybe getting even. "Not gonna make a crop? TAKE THAT!".



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KEH

07-21-2012 09:58:47
209.213.31.66



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to rrlund, 07-21-2012 07:12:04  

I don't think a crop takes up much fertilizer when it's dry. I've fertilized pastures well with chicken litter the last 2 years, which were dry, about like Gary describes. I sold cows, bought some back in the winter. This year we had good early rain, not great, but good, and adequate rainfall so far this summer. The grass has grown and is dark green and tall. I don't think turning the crop under wiil hurt and it might help keep fertilizer. I would do soil tests before applying fertilizer next year, you might not need as much as usual.

KEH

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Larry NEIL

07-21-2012 12:02:31
75.4.140.59



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to KEH, 07-21-2012 09:58:47  
Gary, real sorry tohear that for You and all others in the same boat. Mother nature sure has pooped all over a lot of folks this year!!

Larry NEIL



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Fullers Farmalls

07-24-2012 20:53:30
72.77.73.254



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 Re: Question on discing crops under. in reply to Larry NEIL, 07-21-2012 12:02:31  
Had she pooped we would be happy, lots of nutrients in that stuff. More like a big fart that was dry as a bone.



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