Successful No-Till Farming with Leu AGRO.
Leu AGRO started No-Till Farming some 20 years ago in Western Canada in the Province of Saskatchewan, even some Pioneer of No-Till Farming started many years before, at that time it was on the big scale of Farming in the early development and learning stage to role No-Till Farming out on large scale operation.
But exactly the large scale operation were the driver in the No-Till Development as economics and availability of Farm Workers was getting more difficult year on year.
The proactive basic 5-step Development Plan.:
- Pre – Harvest spraying (if needed / most likely it is needed)
- Harvest with best in Class Straw and Residue Management
- Harrowing if and as needed after the Combine, (the so called Insurance Plan)
- Post-Harvest Glyphosate Application, (depends on the need and Geographical Location)
- Seeding with the proper Equipment and Row Spacing
The most practical way to manage crop residue is with the combine. The residue should be spread uniformly over the entire width of the header cut. Additional needs spreading attachments to the combine will achieve uniform residue distribution. A number of adjustments can be made to most chopper/spreaders so the spread will match the header width under the crop conditions at harvest time. The wider the combine header is it the more difficult proper spreading of residue and chaff will be, after-market and modified straw and chaff spreading attachments may be required.
Residue Management Methods:
The goal of residue management is to make the conditions adequate for the ground opener to perform its primary function of seed placement. This means the residue must flow smoothly around the opener with no plugging and bunching, of crop residue on the seed row. Crop residue must be spread evenly to avoid or reduce such problems as: equipment plugging; poor seed germination; disease, weed and insect infestations; nitrogen tie-up in the chaff or straw rows; and cold soil.
Stubble are kept standing for snow trapping and wind erosion control. Crop residue management is essential for successful No-Till seeding. Maintaining crop residue offers many benefits, including increased snow catch and water infiltration, reduced moisture evaporation, increased soil organic matter, improved soil structure and plant nutrient cycling, virtually no chance for wind erosion and much reduced potential for water erosion.
Post-Harvest application of Harrowing and Glyphosate Spraying:
Harrowing may be needed to achieve uniform residue distribution, especially for heavy crop residues. It is better to harrow in the fall before the straw has settled to the ground, best practice would be about 24 to 96 hours after harvesting operation has occurred. Increasing harrowing speed increases the spreading action, until some experience is gained in different crop conditions it will be a cheap insurance for successful start to No-Till Farming.
Proper Stubble height:
Cereal Crop and Row Crop Stubble height should generally not exceed the seed row spacing, at least until some experience is gained in different crop conditions on the farm. For all this application there are proper Harvest Header Equipment are available for all different Row Spacing to take produce proper Stubble Height for the Seeding operation.
Seeding with proper No-Till Equipment:
Increased residue clearance of seeding equipment is crucial. This can be achieved by:
- Increasing the row spacing
- Increasing the distance between openers
- Increasing the number of ranks of openers
Adequate depth from ground level to bottom of the seeder’s frame is very important, it means the seeding implement you choose must match your crop residue conditions.
Key Points / Short No-Till Conclusion:
- Crop residue management is essential for successful direct seeding.
- The most practical way to manage crop residue is with the combine.
- The residue should be spread uniformly over the entire width of the header cut.
- Chaff spreading must occur with the combine.
- Stubble height should generally not exceed the row spacing, until some experience is gained in different crop conditions on the farm.
- Harrowing can spread straw but not chaff. It is better to harrow in the fall before the straw settles.
- Seeding equipment must have increased residue clearance.
- Crop rotation and variety can influence the amount of crop residue.