Andy has been doing no-till in his operation for the last ten years. He does corn into beans and it has been working very well for him.
He uses a White 6100 12 row planter with trash whippers in the front, and posi close planter wheels, which are basically steal fingers that turn up the dirt they are about a ½ in. piece of rod that bends at about 90 degrees, they are offset and it turns and chews the ground around the seed. He decided to start using these posi closing wheels because the sod wasn’t getting closed using the regular press wheels and he was getting side compaction with the plastic closing wheels with the straight spike. He does not used fertilizer with his planter anymore because it splatters on the planter.
His fertility program depends on the weather in the fall he sometimes does his Potash and P & K on dry and spring he puts on liquid nitrogen 28% and no stabilizer. This year he is going to try doing everything dry and try doing a variable rate with nitrogen fertilizer. He does surface apply nitrogen on his acres.
Andy does soil sampling every year mainly because he is in the CSP program through the NRCS office and it is a requirement. He has a several different types of soil including Loam and Clay.
Some of the things that Andy thought worked well for him was the he kept the cost down doing no-till it was faster he could plant all of his fields in just a few days. Some of the things that he didn’t like was you are a little more limited on anhydrous and other fertilizers depending on weather conditions. If there is a lot of moisture in the spring you aren’t able to get in and plant as early. Also, some of the things that Andy wished he had known starting no-till that he knows now are that vertical tillage is not considered no-till, and that he would need different closing wheels on his planter in order to work on his farm.
When it comes to selecting certain types of hybrids for his corn or beans he said he doesn’t really select special hybrids he just tries to keep them different. He just tries to make sure that he keeps his corn length days around 100-102 day corn at the most, and beans he just keeps at a shorter days to.
One of the main reasons he decided to start using no-till in his farming operation the savings of time, fuel, and money. He also thought that it would be good way to utilize the ground in a different way and have more corn acres. He is able to farm corn in places that conventional farmers would not be able to because he is not disturbing the soil. If you would like more information on Andy’s farm you can contact him at (563)568-7539.