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Discussion Board - Re: meeting

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08-25-2012 18:35:06

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no till is like marriage you are either committed or you are not!I have been no till for 22 years and will not go back.I do not farm when it is wet period.I promise I love all the farmers that farm upstream from with conventional tillage.I get the very best dirt they have to give.Conventional tillage is good for the fuel salesman and the equipment dealers

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08-26-2012 10:00:21

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 Re: meeting in reply to jddriver, 08-25-2012 18:35:06  
I definitly have nothing against no till,if it works for you its a very good thing. But i do not believe its the answer in all situations.For instance,before their demonstration they went on for ten minutes about the advantages of no till in leaving organic material in the soil. Had all kinds of graphs,explanations,pictures etc showing how it helped your soil,and i do believe this. Now after their demonstration,they had a short question and answer session. One fellow asked what the ogranics were in the soils they had on display. ALL the fully tilled soils that they had,tested higher for organics,with the never tilled soil being the highest.When i asked if this indicated i could turn under a couple of green manure cover crops(in an attempt to give them an out since they were just shot out of the saddle),BEFORE switching to notill,they said ephatically NO.That the typical loss of production when switching from a full till situation to no till for the first few crops could not be offset,but it eventually was made up in increased yields. When i pointed out that organic gardeners,farmers all over the world were able to increase the fertility of their feilds by doing this for generations,they simply repied that you either had to go fully no till,right off with no bank of nutrients,or it simply wouldnt work.When another young man asked for a explanation they simply cut that portion of the meeting off with no repy. In other words they were simply there to push no till,and it may have been in actual fact the best system for that particular district. But without answers to basic questions such as this,its hard to justify the cost of equipment to simply switch to no till,especialy in the middle of a drought,with crop prices as they are. In other words i think while the demonstration was impressive,the presentation lacked any convincing substance.As a recommendation of no till they suggested we tour a field a couple of blocks from the meeting hall planted in soybeans after wheat. While the soybeans did look good especialy considering the drought were in,the field was about 2/3 overran with broomweed,and other weeds,while the field on the opposite side of the road ,full tilled,had not weed one. And the beans looked almost as good. Again the presentation was not as it could have been. Like Ive said here many times if i were a young man starting out and buying equipment to start farming i would go no till from the start. But i think they failed to sell their idea to very many of the older farmers there in the 60-80 year old range simply because of their handling of the demonstration. The guys handling it simply pushed the idea of organics in the soil too far and when pressed for numbers they lost their audience, because they couldnt produce the numbers. They should have stayed with the point of their demonstration.Which was the water conservation aspect of farming. they should have stressed the moisture lost in the act of tilling instead of pushing the aspect of the water saved is 100% related to the organic count of your soil,when the samples they had higher numbers in the tilled soil. A simple demonstration showing the amount of bare soil exposed by tilling,or ridging your ground between crops,resulting in greater evaporation losses would have been far more effective. In the end it was a good demonstration,but one quite honestly with no point to a farmer/rancher facing literally NO rainfall. You have a hard time saving what you dont get, but you can save what you have. This should have been their focus . Let me point out i was there as observer only,this is not the district where i farmed for years, i was simply there at the request of a native american tribe pushing the advantages of no till on native land to evaluate the presentation.(and to get a excellent free meal!LOL) their presentation was classic textbook,and the folks presenting it knew their books. but like always they work for the gov,so they have to satisfy the requirements of their jobs. Which i understand perfectly. Their presentation on invasive/noxious weeds for instance begins with the caveat that the gov only recognizes weeds that have been introduced to the area as invasive or noxious,and that native species are not in its scope. When pressed for control info on broomweed ,blackberry for instance they were lost,since it was outside the scope of their studies. like i say if you get the chance was the demo.its interesting to see,but when you take it as definitive proof on the subject you lose something.all results are subject to interpitation.

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