PODCAST: When it is Time for Tillage? A Deep Dive into Farming Tillage Strategies and Cover Crops with Temple Rhodes.
4 Mar 2438m 25s

Typically a reduced tillage kind of guy, Temple pulled out the disc-ripper on one of his fields this fall. Why? To fix a compaction problem years in the making, worsened by excessive moisture. Temple and Damian talk tillage, radishes, stover degradation, compaction, organic matter, and how to change up fall tillage by following it with a two-species cover crop.

00:00 Is there a time to till? That's what we're talking about in this episode of extreme Ag Cutting the curve. 00:09 Welcome to extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, where you get a guaranteed return on investment of your time as we cut your learning curve 00:18 with the information you can apply to your farming operation immediately. Extreme ag, we've already made the mistakes 00:26 so you don't have to. Managing your farm's water resources is a critical component to a successful and sustainable farming operation. 00:35 Advanced drainage systems helps farmers just like you increase their yields up to 30% with their technologically advanced water 00:43 management products. Visit ad s pipe.com to see how they can keep your business flowing. Now, here's your host, Damien Mason. Hey there. 00:54 Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme Ask. Cutting the curve. I got Temple Rhodes on here, our buddy Maryland farmer Xa guy, 01:01 and I'm gonna set the stage here. Temple is a progressive farm guy. Temple's about environmental stuff. 01:07 Temple speaks a lot about how it is in Maryland with the Chesapeake Bay and the environmental regulations that he's had to comply 01:13 with for at least a couple of decades now. So you'd think cover crops reduce tillage no till. And here I see, uh, extreme ag uh, uh, 01:25 video about 10 days ago where he is got disc grippers out there behind these mammoth four-wheel drive tractors just tearing 01:33 up the ground like you ain't never seen. And I'm like, temple, what the hell is going on here? So we're calling this episode a time to Till. 01:42 I do believe there's a great work of literature called A Time to Kill, or maybe I just thought that dreamed that up. 01:46 But the point is, temple's got his reasons and he admits he's not gonna become a conventional tillage guy 01:54 because of this, but he's got his reason. So why did you decide to do this? Well, I, I don't know. 02:01 I started second guessing myself when I got the phone call from, from, uh, my buddy Damien Mason, and I get hollered 02:07 and screamed at, and then we, we get into a half an hour long conversation of how Kelly Garrett is like sweating bullets. 02:15 'cause uh, you know, he's Mr. Carbon credit, you know, conservationist of the Year. And here I am out here just mowing down, 02:25 basically plowing ground. Um, so here, here, here's the thing. We had that discussion that day. Yeah. 02:30 Yeah. I I I hard timed you 'cause I said, wait a minute. Oh Yeah. Oh yeah. 02:35 I said, I said disc gripper. What the hell can you know what temple? Let's go ahead and get the mold board. 02:39 Let's go find, let's go to a farm auction from some, uh, 83-year-old man who's, uh, dying 02:45 and see if we can get a couple of old seven bottom plows and put 'em out there. All right. All joking aside, there's a lot of people 02:52 that still conventionally till I think it's overdone. And I wanna get to that in a little bit. Um, you are not a conventional tillage guy, 03:01 but you looked at the situation, said, I'm gonna go a little bit old school here. Why? 03:08 So, I mean, in, in certain situations, you know, think about, you know, how big equipment has gotten lately, you know, giant combines, 03:15 giant grain carts run across the field. You know, we've got these compaction issues and, and, and there's new products really. 03:24 Like, I don't care what products that, you know, that we can get our hands on, products aren't gonna take care of that, that hard pan 03:31 that you're gonna get in these, these high traffic areas. Right? Well then you compile that. 03:38 You, we've had an ongoing problem for the last, you know, 6, 7, 8 years. I think I, I looked back after you 03:46 and I talked, I think the last time that I had tilled that, that, um, you know, dis ripped that farm 03:52 or whatever was like back in 2013, I think. So, I mean, it's 10 years of us basically kind of beating up on the ground and running over it 04:03 and having compaction issues and we were getting through that. But, um, you know, yeah, 04:09 we do a hundred percent cover crop out here. We've been cover cropping every acre for 25 years. That still does not combat in our soil conditions. 04:20 You know, the type of soil that we have, it still doesn't combat the compaction issues that we can get with heavy equipment. 04:27 You know, we get in a hurry, you know, you and I get in a hurry. You know, you, you getting 04:33 behind the eight ball ground's wet. You decide that you're gonna go out there and you're gonna run in it because you don't have time. 04:39 You're harsing any way. You're harsing in the mud and you're tearing these fields up. So you can't fix that with a problem with a product. 04:47 You can't fix that with, um, a tillage. You know, we've, we've heard about how these tillage, radishes are gonna, um, fix your compaction issues 04:58 and they can, if the compaction issues aren't that bad. Um, and this specific, um, problem in the area that I was doing all this tillage work at this year 05:10 was a farm that from the day that we planted this year, right? So, you know, when we, we harvested the wheat, 05:16 it was raining every other day. Ground was wet. We tore it up, we ran planters through the mud, we tore the ground up. 05:24 Um, but from planting, you know, in April when we started on that farm until when we harvested that crop through 05:32 that growing season, we had 38 inches of rain on that farm. That's more rain than most people get an entire year. Year. 05:40 We got that year just in the growing season. So that, that ground really took a beating and it sealed up so tight, there was no oxygen left in 05:51 that soil at all. So there's only one way to fix it. So that's kind of what we did. Now I have some other plans, you know what I mean? 06:00 Like, I didn't go out there and just be like, oh, I'm just gonna let it sit fallow and, um, and plow it and let that dirt sit on the top. 06:08 As soon as we get done with, um, plowing it like that, um, we spread a cover crop on it right away. 06:16 And then we, you know, we kinda lightly dis it in so that cover crop comes up. So we have some kind of cover, you know, I am trying 06:23 to still be, you know, you know, a a man of conservation quote unquote. So, wait, but there, 06:32 I want to hear what, what you just said. You're still putting cover crops after the tillage? Mm-Hmm. Okay. 06:39 So we went out there and, you know, we, we, we tilted it up and we, we were getting on it, you know, very close 06:45 to about right behind the combine. But, so as soon as we got across it, we went out there with a spreader and we went out there with cereal, 06:52 cereal grains and spread two bushels an acre, and then lightly dissed in. So it's, it's coming up. 06:58 So we got a cover crop coming on it, and I wanted to just shelter the ground, right? I mean, I wanted a green root growing in it. 07:06 So I'm kind of wanting the best of both worlds, right? Alright, So I want, I wanted do something 07:11 Corn pillage. I, I, I wanna get into this because this is, this is, you went conventional, but only for a, a day, 07:18 and then you came in and did something different. So yeah, this, um, this changes the complexion of tillage. All right? I've been critical. 07:26 I just drove from Winnipeg down to, uh, Aberdeen and South Dakota. The bulk of that drive is along the Red River Valley, 07:34 which some people know is that beautiful, fertile stuff that is flat as a pancake. Mm-Hmm. The problem is, it always, 07:41 it floods about every 15 years because it's, it's a north flowing river. So it thaws in the south 07:47 and it's trying to go to the north where it's still frozen like an iceberg, right? Almost every acre I drove by 07:55 and I mean, 95 to 98% of the acres I drove by fall tilt, you can say, well, it's as flat as a pancake. 08:03 Um, it's not gonna wash away. Well, when the river comes out of its banks and in recedes, we've all been there. 08:09 When water goes back into a tributary, it takes the stuff on top with it. Also, they do get wind. 08:16 Uh, trust me, it's, it's, it's very wind up there. I'm sure their reason is it's heavy soil. Uh, it's very, very deep top soils. It's flat. 08:28 We got no choice but to do this. And then the other excuse they'll tell you, temple is, well, we're cold up here. 08:33 By exposing it like that, it'll dry out and it'll start getting warmer so we can plant. I'm like, well, I don't think you're supposed 08:39 to be planting corn in Manitoba in April. Anyhow. So I would still say that they, I, I understand what their excuse would be. 08:48 I want you to speak to the amount of tillage that happens everywhere, and then let's bring it back to what you did. 08:54 First off, do you agree with me, that temple, So there, there, Go ahead. Go ahead. Is Tillage 09:01 Over done? Is Tillage, is there too much tillage? Uh, you know, I I I, I can't say that. I mean, there's not too much tillage in my area. 09:13 You know, everybody does things for their own reason, what works, their realm. You know, I had a conversation not too long ago 09:23 with an equipment dealer, and the equipment dealer asked me, said, Hey, look, you know, you're an extreme ag Explain 09:29 to me the own com the ongoing trends that are coming, like what trends are coming? 09:35 And I, I kind of laughed and I said, I said, you know, I, I don't know. I mean, you know, regenerative agriculture is, 09:42 is is a big trend. Sustainable agriculture, a lot of no-till strip tillage, um, handling residue at the right time. 09:50 Um, there's a ton of, ton of products that are out there that helps people, you know, I mean, I'd say 09:56 sprayer sales should be more than ever, um, higher capacity, uh, planners that do a better job in no-till that would be a trend that I would say 10:07 becomes more and more. And the guy stops me and he goes, that's not what I'm seeing. I'm like, what do you mean? And he goes, 10:14 I'm seeing high horsepower, a lot of fuel and tillage equipment. And I went, are you serious? Mm-Hmm. And he was like, yeah. 10:21 And I'm like, why? And he goes, I don't know why. Mm-Hmm. And I, I don't know. 10:26 I mean, I can't speak to everyone's reason, but you know, any more guys are becoming better and better and better at growing crops. 10:36 And the higher and higher our yields get, the more and more residue that we have to take care of. And a lot of guys in the northern states, you know, up there 10:45 around Kelly and stuff, I've, I've seen a lot of fall tillage up that way. And a lot of just tillage in general, even spring tillage. 10:53 But those guys, they have no degradation of the stove or so they gotta, they, they, I think they feel like they need to get rid of it. 11:04 Now, does Kelly have to handle it? And Kelly's a hundred percent no-till, does Kelly do a good job with it? 11:11 Yes, he does. But I've also been to Kelly's farm in the spring after planning and seeing his planners have to run it in that, 11:21 in that situation. And that is not very forgiving. That situation that Kelly and a lot of the guys in the northern states 11:30 that have a tremendous amount of residue that are used to, you know, ripping and getting rid of the fodder 11:36 when you are in a conventional situation, it is very, very forgiving of our planners. You know, in the spring it is very forgiving 11:47 because mistakes can be made and that conventional tillage covers it all up when you're in a strictly no-till situation. 11:56 I've been out to Kelly's where he's got fodder on the ground that still looks new that it was from two years ago. 12:01 Yeah. Like, I'm like, what in the heck is going on here? Yeah. And he was like, this was in beans last year. 12:06 I'm like, alls I see is corn fo, dude, what are you talking about? Yeah. And he was like, no, no, no. 12:10 This was corn two years ago. Yeah. And I'm like, you got to be kidding me. Yeah. So they don't get a lot of degradation of the their stove. 12:21 So that wipes a lot of that, that away. Um, so I think, which is also fine when you're on a, when you're on a 28, when you're on a 28% slope, having, uh, 12:34 having stove Yeah. That hangs around for a year is very good for you. So, um, I want to get into what you are already seeing. 12:44 I'll go back to you. We, we talk about what happens with other tillage, and then you said you don't wanna speak for other people. 12:48 I, I appreciate your politeness that you don't wanna judge, uh, or, or make a decision 12:53 because like you said, they're, they're doing what they do 'cause it works. I, I just believe that they're doing what they do. 12:59 'cause it works right now without having as much of an eye to the future. If your farm ground's worth $15,000 an acre, 13:07 I would not be any big hurry to go out and expose it to the Manitoba elements for six months. Uh, right to blow away. Alright. 13:16 What did you, you went out and did it because you said you had a compaction problem. Um, wait a minute. Let's 13:22 talk about what you just talked about. Um, you just brought that up, sir. Let's, let's, let's bring that into the residue equation. 13:28 Remember I said about the planter and it's forgiveness? Well, there's a lot of people that also believe that when you till it up like that, you can get it 13:37 directly into the soil profile and you can get it to break down. And you can bring those, those elements 13:41 in very, very quickly. Um, that's not necessarily true. By breaking it down naturally, like with extract or some kind of products 13:52 and getting that into the soil, that's actually, um, quicker. That's, it's more readily available doing it like 13:59 that than if you went out there and plowed it and completely destroyed it and put it back in the ground. And it's really hard to believe. 14:07 But once you get into a program, like, you know, and I hate to keep bringing up Kelly 'cause, but Kelly is, you know, he's a testament to it. 14:14 Um, he's done this for years and years and years, and he's showing that that breakdown of that old breakdown from years past, he is dragging 14:23 that stuff into the soil and it's happening much faster. And he's building his soil much faster than 14:29 what he would be doing is if he was going out there and just plowing the ground. I'm not saying that plowing ground 14:34 or discrepant is the wrong thing 'cause I had to do it. So mine was for compaction issues only. So, go Ahead. Yeah. Okay. Well, we'll get, 14:43 we'll get to compaction, but I want to address what you just said about incorporating the residue in there that absolutely, from all of us, 14:51 certainly of our age, man, if you want to get that organic matter incorporated in soil, it'll rot, it'll decay, it'll, it'll Oh yeah. 14:59 Create humus. It'll create your humus and, and all of a sudden get that whole thing. And what we're learning. And I, I had talked to Darren Hefty 15:07 that actually I sat through one of his sessions and had him on the Cutting the Curve podcast to help me understand that it does put organic matter in the 15:15 soil, but it tends to, because of the tillage, it volatilizes, is that the right word or decomposes? 15:21 Mm-Hmm. It gives it to you. It's almost like sugar. It's there, but it, it's not as lasting as opposed to going a reduced tillage, it'll 15:30 incorporate on a more slow, so like one is a, one's like the sugar, it gives you a sugar high, but it is not non, 15:38 it doesn't have the longevity. Is that the right way? Well, a lot of, a lot of fertility, whether we all wanna believe it or not, it is volatile. 15:45 Whether it's, you know, sulfur, zinc, um, potassium, somewhat not, not that much. You know, they say phosphorus can, um, move 15:55 through a soil profile. There's others that argue that say phosphorus can't move through a soil profile, but I'm in an environment 16:01 that they say, it will tell you that phosphorus moves through oral soil profile, um, quick enough that, uh, we have a nutrient management plan, uh, in place 16:12 so phosphorus doesn't get to the Chesapeake Bay. So it does move through the soil profile. And of course, we all know that nitrogen is very, very, 16:20 um, volatile. When you do use tillage, you're right, it is like a, a, a sugar high. Right. You know what I mean? Gets in there real quick, 16:32 you can get it, blah, blah, blah. But it also leaves very quick. You know, this is more of a time release kind of a deal. 16:40 Um, and, and I'm not saying it's right, wrong, or indifferent, you know, people have to do with what they, what they need to do. 16:46 Um, but it is for quite a few years, if somebody went a hundred percent away from tillage, like Kelly to a hundred percent no tillage, um, 17:00 there's gonna be a huge learning curve for those guys. Yep. Um, and the, the reason for the learning curve is like what you need, you know, I've said this for years. 17:10 The guys that do, you know, like what Kelly does and all these other guys do, those guys have to have their no-tilling game has to be really strong. 17:18 And that game is on that planner. And you cannot just have a regular wannabe BTO, you know, big time operator. 17:29 You gotta have a guy that is on point on your planner, not some regular Joe that you can put out there and conventional ground that he can just go bang it out. 17:39 That is not the guy that you want on that planter. So, um, it, it, it does take a lot more, um, but in the long run, you know, does it save fuel? 17:48 Does it sequester more carbon by not doing it? All these things play a part of it, but I needed to outweigh my, my problem, you know? 17:59 Yes. 10 years ago I had a compaction issue, I had to handle it. That's how I handled it. 18:04 Because 10 years ago is actually when I got this farm. Um, and it had a compaction issue when I got there. So I wanted to fix it off, start fresh and then continue on. 18:15 It lasted 10 years. Did I have a good 10 year run? Absolutely. I needed to back up and rep punt because I couldn't get past these problem areas. 18:26 And if you get an acre problem area over here and an acre problem area over there, you know, the next thing you know, um, 18:33 it's costing you a lot of money. So you can't fix a lot of this with like a tillage radi, you know, I've had guys for years say, oh, 18:41 you gotta use tillage radishes, you know, it'll relieve all your compaction issues. Yeah, they will in a mildly compacted area, 18:49 maybe in the middle of the field. But like when you get to headlands and places where the grain cart ran, 18:55 and now we've got sprayers that are on skinny tires that Mm-hmm. Those sprayers are, they weigh, you know, good lord, 19:03 who knows what they carry 1600 gallons of fertility across the field. Like we are making big problems. 19:10 And sometimes we need, we get in too big of a rush in agriculture sometimes, because you can't wait until the opportune time to say, 19:20 okay, I'm gonna wait until it dries out enough that I not, I know I'm not gonna create a compaction issue. 19:27 Who's got that time, Damien? Uh, Well, you don't because you gotta make a living and all of a sudden you've got 9%, uh, interest rates on, 19:35 on, uh, operating money and you got, uh, inflationary pressures. Yes. And the crop inputs. So here's the thing. 19:42 I wanna go through rapid fire here. Um, you said tillage, radishes, I get it. You know, that whole thing became a thing 10 19:49 or 12 years ago, 15 years ago. We're gonna use cover crops and we're also gonna use rashes. They, you know, greet big, deep tubers. 19:55 They go down a couple of feet. And I, I think that there's a real merit to that also. They move the nutrients up and down the profile. 20:02 I've heard that's correct. And create porosity. But you said sometimes the product can't do it. Then you said, I did this strictly as a compaction play. 20:10 Yes, it puts the fodder in the soil and it'll decay. But we talked about that's kind of like, uh, you know, sugar, it'll, it'll give it quick, 20:18 but it won't have as much lasting on terms of the organic matter. This doesn't set you back probably on organic matter, 20:24 but it doesn't set you forward. Is that an accurate statement then? Yeah, I mean, you gotta remember, like what I'm trying 20:31 to do is, um, yes, I'm getting rid of the residue. Yes. Is it going to be a a, a sugar high? Where, you know, a lot of 20:38 that stuff will be a little bit volatile. The soil will absorb some of it. But what I'm doing is, is I went out there, I tilled it, 20:47 I'd lightly, I, you know, I spread a cover crop, so I'm gonna, basically what I'm tilling in there, I'm gonna absorb back into that cover crop, 20:55 leave a green root in the system, in that soil, and then back into the spring when I terminate that crop, I'm gonna re-release everything that it absorbed by that 21:05 and put it right back into the soil. So in my, you know, theory, theoretically, I'm kind of going about it a little bit different way, 21:15 and I'm still being conservative, but I'm taking care of my problem because I don't have a product that can fix it. 21:20 Now when I say I don't have a product to fix it, and we're gonna talk about tillage rhees for just a second. I used tillage radishes years and years ago. 21:29 I used them on a lot of ground. One of the biggest problems was, is yeah, it, it worked well and it would, that tuber would go down. 21:36 But when you got into the heavy compacted areas, that tuber would grow two inches in the ground and the entire rest 21:43 of it would be sticking outta the ground a foot, foot and a half. And that was a problem for me. 21:48 And then you would get into some areas where, um, the tuber would go down in the ground and it would be big and fat. 21:54 And if you had a mild, really, really mild winter, and they never really killed off, you know, 'cause they, once it gets down below 20 degrees 22:01 and they kill off on a tillage radish, you know, they will kind of, they'll die. They stink like crazy. 22:09 Um, and then the ground kind of seals itself back together, all that. Well, we had a spring, actually two different springs 22:17 where they didn't die off. They did a good job. They didn't die off. We had to rely on herbicide to kill 'em. 22:25 We killed them in March one. 'cause we can't, we can't, you know, terminate our cover crop till March one. 22:31 We went out there, we terminated March one and killed it. And then in April we're planting a crop. 22:37 Well, we had these big holes that were in the ground with this stinking rotten residue of the tillage radish. And we actually had an adverse problem Yeah. 22:48 Where the crop went backwards because when it didn't get planted in the actual seed bed, Mm-Hmm. 22:54 It actually, the, the seed actually rotted in their spots. We had a poor stand. So I'm, I'm not saying 23:00 that it's a bad thing. I'm just saying That radishes have their radishes have their limitations. And you just gave a great example 23:09 and I just am, I'm trying to amuse myself thinking about you, how much, how much complaining you must have done about the stink 23:16 Man, you have no idea. Alright, So answer me this. Okay. I just, you brought up the weather thing. I have heard it said in northeast Indiana where I am from, 23:26 uh, that my fields, uh, don't have as much of a compaction issue because especially on the right kind of a winter, when we have a winter where 23:35 that freeze line goes down a couple of feet, you know? Yep. We can talk about how we've been warmer, trending warmer, you know, 23:44 we still bury pipes at 36 plus inches down, you know, because of the freeze line. Yeah. When you get that, 23:50 and we don't have them as often as maybe we did when I was a kid. But the, the reality is 23:55 that does a lot about breaking up compaction layer. I've also had farm guys say, yeah, well we can talk, talk about the deep freeze breaking up compaction, 24:03 but also on those dry years, when you start having, uh, when you start having a year of a drought, you get some big old cracks 24:08 that break up the compaction layer. Also, did, you talked about weather, meaning rain contribute to your compaction problem. 24:17 Does the right kind of a winter if you get a, if we get a good hard winter, or does that help you say, I'm not, 24:23 I'm keeping the di the the disc chisel plow, the disc ripper's gonna stay in the barn. I I mean, it, it could, 24:31 and we could argue that if you really wanted to argue that, um, it, it could, I I don't, 24:38 I've never seen a year, you know, we always go out there and we always shove the, you know, the tensiometer 24:46 or whatever you call that thing. You know, that, um, we measure where the compaction layer is and we've had really, really hard winters 24:52 and you come out it and you go stick it in the ground. And I can't sit here and say, man, that really, really worked. 24:58 Now is that a old wive's tale? I don't know. Can we get the drought and the cracks in the ground that break it up really good? 25:04 I mean, yeah, I mean all, all of those things can happen, but it just, you, you have to go. 25:10 It's no different than going out there and doing a root dig and seeing where the crop is 25:17 and looking at what's going on underground. Me making that, that example that I had to do on those farms, that was me with feet on the ground, 25:28 knowing that the last two years my yield started to, to decline just a little bit. And I'm not talking about, I was getting a 10 bushel less, 25:38 um, uh, you know, um, yield. It was more of a, I started to see a, a, a gradual, you know, decline. 25:49 And I was like, something's going on here. And there's nothing in the world, Damon, you know this better than anybody, 25:54 than beats boots in the field. Yeah. So you go out there, we've taken soil samples, we've looked at the soil samples, we know what our CECs are, 26:03 we know what our base saturations are, we know what our phs are in the ground are. We know that we are in balance as much 26:10 as we can be at this point. We also know it's gotta be something else because we have a limiting factor. 26:18 What is the limiting factor and how can we fix any problem? The easiest way to fix a problem is find your greatest 26:27 limiting factor at that point. Mm-Hmm. And at that point, when we went out there and stuck that, that, um, that, you know, 26:35 that rod in the ground, I had a massive problem with compaction. Right. And there's only one way to fix it 26:42 All right. So, uh, and there's gonna be a purist, a regenerative person is out here saying there's not just one way to fix it. 26:48 There's multiple ways to fix it, but that's okay. We're, we're, we're not a regenerative purist. We're just talking about why you did. 26:53 We we're calling this a time to, till you made the decision to till, where was the compaction layer? 26:58 Eight inches. I was anywhere between eight and 10 inches deep. Okay. How deep Tell and that and, 27:04 and depending on where the field was, right. So, um, like on the ends where we generally load trucks at, you know, that compaction was at, 27:13 was three inches, four inches deep. Yeah, it was. And then you couldn't shove it down like you couldn't took a hammer 27:19 and drove this three quarter inch rod in the ground. Now that's a different story now And out in the same of The field. 27:24 I would, I would say, I wanna ask you this. I would say the area that's obviously just got traffic and traffic and traffic and traffic, 27:30 that's a different circumstance than the rest of the field. Yeah. Do You think you're gonna find that 27:36 where the heavy traffic has been traffic every few years, you might, every other year you might come in 27:43 and, and disc grip. But the rest of the field is a once every 10 year thing. What do you think your, what do you think your Of course, 27:49 Well there's a lot, there's a lot of guys, there's a lot of guys around here and us, including, um, 27:55 what we generally do is our high traffic areas. We have what we call a no-till ripper, you know, it's a inline, uh, disc ripper 28:04 that just has a blade on it from straight blade, straight shank that goes down the shanks only three quarters of an inch wide and the tooth goes down the ground 28:11 and has a wing tooth on it. And we'll go down 10, 12 inches deep and we'll do those high traffic areas. 28:18 It doesn't disturb any So on the top of the ground. Yeah. Alls it does is has a lifting function 28:24 and then lays the ground back down and you got these little wheels in the back that kind of press that back down by I so do 28:30 that on high traffic areas. I, I see those and then I like to watch 'em. I mean, 'cause it raises the ground. 28:37 It looks like one of those videos of like when a bridge is having an earthquake because the, the ground goes like that. 28:43 Yeah. It just, it kind of lifts it up and then sets it back down. Now, um, could I have gotten away with that on, 28:51 on the, these acres? Uh, maybe, maybe not. But what we've seen with the inline, um, I get, we call 'em no-till rippers. 29:01 What we've seen with the no-till rippers is you almost have to do it twice. You know what I mean? Like every year do the whole thing. 29:09 Yeah. And go back and go back and go back in a situation like what I did, I mean, think about the last time that I touched this field. 29:17 It was 10 years ago and I've made out great for 10 years. And this one time I had 29:23 to go back old school on it one in 10 years. And then I immediately put a cover crop right back on top of it. 29:30 Like I'm not outta the loop very long. I mean, just period of time. Basically from the time 29:39 that the residue gets buried till the time that the cover crop comes up, what do we got 10 days that I'm kind of laying fallow until something's happening. 29:48 So I'm not really doing it very long. And I'm not saying that, you know, maybe that's a a, a new program that comes out. 29:57 Well that's what I was gonna go anyway, That kind of Go Ahead. Let me answer you that because that I ask you that. 30:02 'cause that was one of my thoughts, traditional, you, you did something you haven't done in a long while. You went back a little bit old school, 30:10 but you didn't do it the same way traditionally. You'd ripped it all up and then you'd let it sit like that from November Mm-Hmm. 30:18 Whenever it was 15th until sometime in April or early May. Correct. And this time 30:25 Now, I mean I, we were ripping in in October, but yeah, from October until basically, you know, March when we could have got back in there 30:33 and started working ground down and then we would've, you know, planted in that, now I'm not doing that. 30:38 Yeah. Like we literally went in there. Yeah. Dis ripped it, spread a cover crop lightly went over it with a, we call a tur, you know, a vertical tillage tool 30:49 and leveled the ground all out. And now we've got something growing in it. I pretty much had the bed 30:54 that I'm gonna plan in in the spring. Hey, what's that thing I Can just go, Hey, what's that thing temple? 31:02 Uh, you know, putting lipstick on a pig and calling something by a different name. What'd you call it? Inline Vertical tool. Tillage tool. 31:11 Which really just means disc anyway. Uh, Yeah, you're talking about the, the ver I didn't say inline. 31:17 That was the inline thing was the ripper. No-till ripper. Yeah. The vertical tillage tool is really 31:24 A a, a straightened out disc. A Disc a a disc that runs really, really light with wavy blades. How about that? 31:31 Yeah, it's a straightened out, it's a straightened out disc, which, um, That thing can creates a lot of compaction as well. 31:37 Yeah. It does create compaction. But you, you, you do sparingly. Can I ask you a question? Do you think from breaking up the compaction, one 31:45 of the benefits they would tell you about, like the the inline ripper that you talked about doing on your traffic areas is 31:52 that it gives a chance for water to infiltrate some of that water's gonna freeze, expand, therefore pop Yeah. And, and break up a compaction layer. 32:01 That's one of the logics I think behind it, you won't get that as much because you didn't, you didn't rip 32:09 and then let it sit for five months or four months or six months. No, you, you ripped 32:14 and then went back in and did the cover crop. Do you think that you'll find that it was just as beneficial to have done the breakup of the compaction layer? 32:23 Or do you think that if you had ripped it and let it sit, it would've been even more beneficial? I, you know what? 32:30 I didn't want to give a chance where you, you've made a comment a little while ago that you've got ground that's worth $15,000 an acre. 32:38 And I'm not saying mine's worth $15,000 an acre, but some of this ground that I, that I farm for some of my landowner, it's worth that kind of money. 32:47 And I'm not gonna let one inch of it, not one spec. If I got anything to do with it, go anywhere. I want it to stay right there. 32:53 And there's only one way to get that to happen. If I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do to, to fix my problems that I have that part of is my problem with big equipment, 33:04 blah, blah, blah, and I'm, I'm making a compaction problem, I'm not gonna let it go anywhere 33:09 and I'm gonna put that cover crop on there. Now if you ask me did I do a comparison of where I didn't put a cover crop on versus 33:20 where I did put a cover crop on? Yeah, no, I didn't. And I'm not going to because I want that cover crop back on there 33:27 because I believe in retaining whatever nutrition is out there that's gonna be released by the stove that I plowed under 33:38 and whatever, um, is left out there from my previous crop that my crop didn't pull up. 33:46 I don't want it going into the bay. I don't want it going anywhere. I want pull it back into that plant. 33:50 And then when I terminate that cover crop, I wanna be able to break it down with something like extract put it back 33:59 into the sole and have it for my corn crop coming back. It's a, it's a revolving door that I'm not gonna, I just figure it out that in my program 34:10 that I can involve some old school. I almost wonder if we might have a new hybridized method. Is this the way to do it every year? 34:20 No, but if you think you've got a compaction issue, is this a new methodology? Do the rip, let it go a week 34:26 or 10 days like you did, then go ahead and then get, uh, very light tillage and then put your cover crop on it. 34:34 By the way, the rye, you put rye on it, you said? Uh, actually I did a wheat clover blend. Okay. So I put a legume in there 34:44 and I put, and I put wheat in there. So it's a cereal green with a lagoon. Yeah. Which, you know, the more, more species of, uh, 34:50 cover crop you put on, the more benefit you get according to my reading. What, what's the stand look like? 34:56 Four inches of, of, uh, plant growth? I mean, right now it's probably, yeah, it's two to three inches of plant growth outright that right now. 35:04 And I mean, and it's pretty much, it's covering up the ground and it's right where we want it to be. 35:08 You know, I I'll to do some Benefit the Winter, but it looks good. You getting the benefit of the roots cycling it. 35:15 All right. Uh, I think we're gonna, uh, move on then. Uh, temple talks about a time to tills. My last question for you, purists would say 35:22 that all you did was move the compaction layer from eight inches down to about 12 inches where you, uh, 35:26 where your ripper went through your response. Nah, that didn't happen. I mean, they can talk about that all they want and, and I've heard that before. 35:35 But if that was the case, you know, out of all the years that we've been doing it, we'd be down to 36 inches by now. 35:41 And we're not, It, It's still, it still, it still comes back at those same levels, you know, three 35:48 to four inches in high traffic areas. Yeah. And out in the center of the fields somewhere between seven and nine, you know. 35:55 Yeah. That's basically where, where we are. And I said eight and I said eight. You know, the Only you say you're perfect. You're 36:02 the only person that appreciates my agronomic expertise, which is really not expertise. But you know what, uh, so shall we say, 36:09 and I should also point out that, uh, I referenced $15,000 farm ground, but I didn't say that mine was worth that. 36:15 I was more talking about the people along the Red River Valley in the Dakotas when I said that. And, and if you think that my farm ground is, you know, uh, 36:24 bad, you don't even need to take my word for it. Just take Mike Evans. He has insulted my farm ground. I, I'm, I'm afraid to even reference my farm ground with him 36:33 because of, uh, he, he's, he's hurt me. He's hurt my feelings. He really Is. Well, I'm gonna be 36:37 honest with you and, and I'm gonna cuss on your podcast and I probably shouldn't, but Kelly referenced the reason why a lot 36:44 of times products work on my ground is because it always works on s****y dirt. Those Iowa guy. All right, his name's Temple Rhodes. 36:54 My name's Damian Mason, and we've got literally hundreds of these episodes of cutting the curve with great interviews like this, 36:59 talking about issues and, uh, topics and practices and products and things that you can apply to your farming operation. 37:05 We call this a time to till Maybe you do have a time to till maybe you have questioned whether you're over tilling. 37:11 Maybe you have a place where you could benefit your soils by doing an experiment like, uh, temple did, 37:16 where you break up a compaction, then come back and get cover crops going on it. You know what? We're here to give you answers 37:22 and ideas that you can take to your farming operation. If you want to take your farming game to the next level for $750 a year, you can become an extreme Ag member, 37:30 750 bucks a year. Get access to exclusive information. You can get, uh, online, uh, communication with guys like Temple to ask them questions. 37:38 You also get special offers like we're doing with Nature's, where you can go to the Commodity Classic. 37:44 Your admitting your admission is free. If you are a member, think about that. So you're basically getting a bunch 37:48 of your membership money right back. Until next time, thanks for being here. He's Temple. I'm Damien Mason. Share this 37:54 with somebody I can benefit from it. That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve, but there's plenty more. 37:59 Check out Extreme Ag Farm where you can find past episodes, instructional videos 38:04 and articles to help you squeeze more profit outta your farm. Cutting the curve is brought to you 38:11 by Advanced Drainage Systems, the leader in agriculture, water management solutions.

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