Podcast: Are You Reluctant to Go No-Till Because You Think You’ll Lose Yield?
23 May 2451m 12s

Are you reluctant to go no-till because you think you’ll lose yield? Does planting into heavy crop residue concern you? Kelly, Lee, and Kevin explain their methods to attaining high — sometimes record — yields with a no-till systems approach. They cover everything from the combine, to residue breakdown products, to specialized forms of “non-tillage” tillage that resizes fodder, to planter set up tips. If you’re stuck in your conventional farming methods, skip this episode. Just realize, you’re leaving money on the table via a paid sustainability program that pays a premium for no-till practices. 

Presented by CLAAS

00:00 We're talking about residue management for successful, no-till farming in this episode of extreme Ag Cutting the curve. 00:05 Welcome to extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast where real farmers share real insights and real results to help you improve your farming operation. 00:15 This episode of Cutting the Curve is brought to you by cloth where machines aren't just made, they're made for more 00:22 with a wide range of tractors, combines, foragers and hay tools. Cloth is a family business just as driven, demanding, 00:29 and dedicated as yours. Go to cloth.com and start cutting your curve with their cutting edge equipment. 00:34 And now here's your host, Damien Mason. Hey there. Welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme Ice. 00:41 Cutting the Curve. You're probably one of those people that says, Hey, you know what? I love tuning in here. 00:46 They've got great ideas, it's brilliant, it's awesome. But some of the stuff they do may not work for me, for instance, no-till, strip till, things like that. 00:54 I don't know if I can do that because I have so much residue on the ground. I'm pushing big yields 00:58 'cause I listen to what the extreme ag guys tell me to do. And I got so much residue I can't get 01:02 through it in a no-till situation. But I wanna do no-till because I can get involved in sustainability programs. 01:09 So since we talked about this at Commodity Classic, we had all the guys on stage talked about sustainability programs and how you can maybe tweak some program at some 01:16 of the practices on your farm and then all of a sudden qualify for a program. It dawned on us that some of you, 01:22 our listeners viewers might say, man, I don't know if I can do no-till because there's too much residue to manage. 01:28 So I brought on a panel of experts. I've got Kevin Matthews, Lee Lu, Kelly Garrett, three of the original Extre Ag guys coming at you from 01:37 all different geographies. Gregory South Dakota, Yadkinville, North Carolina, Dow City slash area in Iowa. 01:43 And these guys are no tillers. And they're gonna talk to you about how they manage residue. As Kevin says, it starts with a combine. 01:49 So the point is, you can be very successful, you can be a no-till, uh, set yields using no-till and also manage the residue. 01:57 So we're gonna get you past any reluctance or hesitation you may have about that. Starting off with you, Kevin, you said 02:02 it begins with the combine. Take me there. Yeah, so, you know, we do a lot of double crop soybeans and it's fully no-till. 02:10 And when you're cutting that wheat straw, you know, if you just stop and run a big slug of wheat out, you're not gonna plant through that big straw mat. 02:18 So you gotta do a really good job spreading. But let's say when we're picking our corn in the fall, getting ready, we, we've got good headers now. 02:26 They do a great job sizing up residue best they can, but we still need that residue to stay on top of the ground. So we don't have the erosion 02:34 with our heavy rainfalls during the winter. And we typically will have cover crops in there to work as well. 02:39 Our river bottoms, however, we get a lot of drift piles and all from the flood, and it'll move corn stalks around 02:47 our stuff will really pretty good. But when you get a big pile of something, you physically gotta move it and spread it out 02:54 and chop it up and get it incorporated into the ground. That's only typically an issue with ponding in a field that might happen, not where Kelly is. 03:03 'cause he has too much slope. It might happen in my part of the world where you have ponding 03:06 and it moves the debris to an, to an edge of where the pond receded from. Or when you farm creek and river bottom ground. 03:14 So that's not the biggest, that's on an acres standpoint, that's not the biggest residue problem. 03:21 It's the broad acre stuff where there's just a lot of residue because of the volume of crop. Right? 03:28 Yeah. And, but one thing I learned when I was out at Kelly's and, and Kelly will elaborate more on this, was I was unaware of the drift piles, the corn stalks 03:38 that the Midwest gets. I mean, it, it, it amazed me. We was at Kelly's farm, I believe it was in, um, Kelly, was it December we was there? 03:47 Yeah. Was it December? And the stalks out the combine and just left the field that day? Well, we leave the field 03:54 and four days later our stalks are starting to turn black and brown. So it was very interesting to me. 04:00 I'd never seen that before. And some of the drift calls were monstrous that he has to deal with. 04:06 Kelly can talk more about that. All right, so you got the wind, the drift piles. We did cover that once me and Mike Evans were there 04:12 because you worried about whether you're gonna get seed to soil contact in certain parts of your field because you had hellacious winds that came through 04:19 and pushed over to one side of your fields depending on, on whether you had wind break and whatnot. 04:24 Um, that is a residue management issue. That's not the one you typically fight, but that is a big one. 04:31 No, you know, the, the earlier combined earlier harvested corn, when the stalks are still green, they will break down. 04:38 Like what happens in Kevin and Chad's part of the world, uh, you know, 'cause there's still a lot of moisture in those stalks. 04:44 But when we start to get past the freeze date, things like that, and the stalks dry down 04:49 and the corn is dead, then it's so cold. Um, the s stocks just don't, they just don't turn. They don't, they don't break down. 04:57 And then when you have a dry, dry winter, like we had in 21 or 22, you know, in 21 we had big yields. 05:05 Then we had dry weather throughout the, throughout the, uh, winter and just nothing broke down. 05:10 And then in the spring of 22, we had tremendous winds and it, and the winds were out of the southwest, blew those stalks up over the hills onto the north 05:20 and east facing side hills and deposited them there just like a snow drift. And it was a yield limiting factor. 05:25 And we had been really concentrating on residue management anyway. And after that experience, 05:31 it was concentrating on residue management on steroids. 'cause I don't wanna do it again, Lee. I 05:38 took, I took, uh, Kevin there, we started. He says, uh, residue management starts with the combine. He didn't talk about it, 05:44 but I've been to you guys' farms, um, on many of the combines. You start by chopping the stalks, 05:51 let's say the corn stalks on the header of the combine. Do you have those, do you have those stalk rollers on the ba on your combine head? 05:59 Uh, we do not actually run, uh, that style. Uh, in our area. We get such a high degree of wind. We want our residue as much 06:10 as we can anchored to the ground. Mm-Hmm. Uh, because we need that. If we start, if we start sizing too much, uh, 06:19 in the fall, we can get to, well, we'll get the big drifts like Kelly. So we're trying to keep our stocks anchored. 06:27 And again, it comes down to, uh, like Kelly said, with the frost date, uh, if you get a hard killing, freeze dries out your stalks. 06:36 So, uh, if we have these small six inch pieces, they're just gonna start piling up in the field. So we have to do it a little bit differently. 06:45 But we still have a huge amount of residue there. We need to have standing stalks. And then of course, our ground is covered with residue. 06:53 But those standing stalks help protect that so that residue, residue doesn't blow into piles, uh, during the, uh, 07:01 winter and the next spring. So You don't, you don't even want, you want your field to look like the whole winter. 07:08 Like it just got done being shelled off. You want it to look like where they're standing, six to 12 inch stalks and, 07:15 and then, uh, then the residue and the rows. Yeah. But we also, anything we can do to jumpstart the process, whether it's, uh, working with, 07:26 uh, uh, biologicals to help speed up the process or just we see the biggest value for us is a biologically active soil. 07:37 That's been the biggest payback. And the best way we handle residue management is what we've done long term, uh, 07:46 by making a very viable soil profile biologically. All right. So, uh, he goes down biologically, you use a stalk cruncher thing, Kevin, and I know Kelly did. 07:59 He doesn't, Lee doesn't because of the wind, but he also then went to biology. Biology important to you even maybe more. 08:06 So you have almost no freeze as opposed to Gregory, South Dakota. So let's talk about the crunch. 08:12 The, so with the crunch, well, compared to Gregory, South Dakota, the Ark Circle doesn't have as much freeze. But anyway, aside, aside from 08:22 Yeah, no doubt. I, I'm, I'd be, uh, big baby when it comes to the weather that Kelly and Lee has to de ho I, 08:29 So you do, you do you want the crunching done and you don't have the wind, but also you don't have the freeze. 08:36 So biology more important or less important. Talk us through. Yeah, We, we may be neglecting a potential profit 08:45 'cause we've not focused much on it. 'cause we use a, a vertical tillage tool. We got a, a new vertical tillage from John Deere 08:52 that we are very happy with, um, run it last fall, incorporated all our cover crops. We don't use a drill. 08:59 So we run it to size the residue and also to, uh, get the seed into the ground and have a good cover crop over the winter. 09:09 Then in the spring, we run over all of our river bottoms to help manage those, uh, drift piles from the flood 09:15 and size up all that residue. And it also qualifies us for no-till by doing that, we're not really working. 09:22 Okay. Before we hit record, you mentioned vertical tillage. My mind went straight to, wait a minute. 09:27 For us to get any of these sustainability programs, it's supposed to be no till. Vertical tillage is still tillage, 09:34 but it does even a, the, the idea is it doesn't move a bunch of soil. That that's correct. Your, your vertical till 09:41 and your strip till too. And, and Kelly, he's forgotten more about all the guidelines, but those are the two 09:47 that are still considered in the programs. So, you know, the, the two sustainability programs or markets that we work with predominantly are arva 09:58 and Trutter and ar you know, we're like talking about this earlier Arva, for instance. And I believe Trutter is very, very similar. 10:05 As long as you don't go more than two inches deep, they consider it no-till because you're not moving the soil. You are sizing the residue, which is a, 10:16 a different practice, a different action. It's not tillage, it's residue sizing. And it's still considered no-till they allow you to do that. 10:23 Okay. So you do this at time right after harvest, because a Kevin, it resizes the residue, particularly we're talking corn. 10:34 You don't do this on soybean stubble. You do this on corn stalks. That's correct. Yeah. The soy, 10:38 we love the no-till right into that soybean stubble. It just plant so well for us. Okay. So, so there's no residue management issue 10:45 on soybean stubble. We're talking corn here for you. And the, uh, the practice you do is after the combine, you spread, you broadcast 10:58 We barley Yep. Barley, Broadcast barley on for a cover crop. And then you run a vertical tillage going an inch 11:06 to two inches deep, uh, with almost no soil disturbance, but it does serve to resize the debris 11:12 and then also get your seeds in the ground. Yep. It incorporates the seed. Uh, we got rid of our no-till wire drill that we had. 11:20 Um, we, because we can do this so much faster with a big spreader truck, we're not trying to go after maximum yields. 11:27 We're just wanting cover crops then in our river bottoms. And, you know, you guys remember we got our elk plant 11:32 rolling hills that we treat one way and in our flat river bottoms is a totally different way. And there, you know, we got wetter natured soils. 11:40 So we want that soil to dry out in the spring. So we will hold up. 'cause we don't, if we don't want to tire those stalks up 11:48 because we want 'em to stay in place if we have a flood. And, and I actually liked Lee's idea. 11:54 I hadn't thought about that. It might would help me not to use those aggressive corn heads like we used, but they work so good on upland. 12:00 But, um, we size that, you know, we we're going to size all that residue left from that combine with that vertical tillage tool in the spring, 12:09 in the river bottoms. So we do all the upland in the winter or in the fall directly behind it. 12:15 And then the river bottoms, we'll do that In the spring. Okay. So you've got two different practices, 12:20 but not terribly different based on upland versus bottom ground. Correct. Correct. Okay. 12:26 All right. Everything gets cover cropped, All upland gets cover crop and any sand ridges are highly erodable 12:34 to the flood will get cover crop into river bottoms. So you might have a 40 acre bottom and you'll put cover crops on six acres of it 12:42 or something. Um, alright, Kelly, uh, you said you do something or have something that, again, 12:50 it's not tillage in the traditional moldboard plow or chisel plow or even v ripper. It's the new, the new thinking is it's 13:01 fodder, it's fodder reducer. It's uh, it's, it's resizing. It's not, it's not moving soil. 13:10 Right. Uh, the tool that we purchased is called an airway. Uh, it's 30 foot wide. 13:15 I wanted to get a bigger one, but that's the biggest one they made. And I was frustrated 13:19 because I, I wanted like a 42 footer and then I hooked onto it. And I now know why they only make a 30 footer 13:24 because holy cow, you know, like an 83 70 is not enough. We, we either need one of the four 10 RXs on it, 13:32 or right now what's on it is a 94 20 articulated tractor. It, uh, it's weighted with big cement blocks. 13:39 I, I'm not even sure how much they weigh, but, and it, it has, uh, it, it has a gang on it like a disc, but it's straight. 13:46 And it doesn't have blades. It has spikes. And the idea is to poke an eight inch deep hole in there into the soil, but it doesn't move the soil. 13:55 It pokes an eight inch deep soil a hole into the soil. We sometimes talk about nutrient stratification, especially, you know, in no-till, 14:04 and the, the nutrients don't get down there into the soil profile. It's hard to move them down there in no-till 14:08 and they just stay in the top one or two inches. So our idea with this tool is two things. Poke that eight inch deep hole 14:16 and get that nutrient down in there. And then the rolling basket on it and the spikes on it, we're sizing that residue. 14:22 Uh, and so again, it's not tillage, it's, it's to battle the nutrient stratification. And it is to size the residue. 14:30 I just wanna throw this out there, since we're all roughly the same age. You imagine a 24-year-old engineer that came out of the, 14:40 uh, the drafting room and said, I've been reading about this thing where we don't wanna move the soil. 14:45 I've got this new idea. Here's this piece of equipment that's only 30 feet wide. Takes the biggest tractor that a guy like Kelly Garrett has 14:53 to pull it and it's gonna be weighted down with the same kind of cement blocks they put outside the White House to prevent terrorist attacks. 15:01 Oh. And, and it's got a row of discs with, with pokers bigger than my pin that I'm holding right here. Oh. And then we're gonna follow the baskets. 15:09 The old guy that has been working for the engineer, the, the, the manufacturer says, son, 15:15 what in the hell are you talking about? This has to be the goofballs looking damn thing that you've ever seen. 15:20 It, it, it looks like ninja throwing stars going around and round poking into the hole. That's What its weighted down with some weight down 15:27 with concrete, uh, yes. Staves and, and I, I'm, I'm, I gotta be honest, I'm kind of almost my, my BS meters up a little bit on this piece 15:39 Of equipment. There. There's gotta be, there's got, there's six or seven May six 15:45 or seven, uh, of these cement blocks across there. And there's gotta be a yard of concrete in every one of these blocks on top of this tool. 15:54 And they're, they're bolted on there to, to write because it's got wings, of course. And it, it very much looks 15:59 to be like a ninja throwing star rated brown weighted down by cement blocks. And we don't think we're gonna create a 16:05 compaction problem with this. No. It, uh, actually it's supposed to help alleviate the compaction because of the spike. 16:11 There isn't a lot of it that goes into the ground. Yeah. The spike, the spike goes down and then creates the porosity, I guess. 16:16 I don't know. Yep. I just, I'm hung up on this piece of equipment. Lee, uh, Kevin am I, is this sound like something 16:22 that is gonna work? Uh, actually I have a friend on the other side of the river. They use it to, uh, rein, reinvigorate their pasture. 16:34 Yes. Yeah, Okay. That, that, you know, area that pasture ground and things like that, that's one of the uses 16:40 of the company advertises. That's where I've seen it at. Uh, actually the uh, Mr. Chamberlain that I bought Deep Creek from, he had one and, 16:49 but his only had just the spikes you're talking about. I hadn't seen one other. Rolling. Okay. Alright. So the person that's listening to this 16:56 that says, Hey, that's cool, but I, I can't buy one of those things. Um, my neighbors will laugh 17:03 at me, plus I don't have the money. We're gonna talk about residue management, residue management practices they can do. 17:09 Because again, if you're considering no-till and you're concerned about the success of seed to soil contact or those kinds of things, 17:16 you're more conventional. And we wanna relieve you of your, um, skepticism because it can work for you. 17:24 You just gotta hear some other tactics these guys use before we get to all of their tactics and, uh, methods. And for residue management, 17:32 I wanna tell you about Nature's Nature's, as you know, is one of our business partners here, uh, awesome company. We love hanging out with them. 17:38 We were at Commodity Classic, all of us, uh, were working in the panel. We had informative educational panel sessions at Commodity 17:44 Classic Natures. In fact, natures paid for several, uh, people to go there to Commodity Classic. 17:50 If you're a extreme Ag member, you can last two years, nature's paid your way to go there. So anyway, you really 17:56 consider becoming an extreme Ag member. It's only seven 50 bucks a year. You get all kinds of great acc uh, access 18:01 to these guys for question and answer. You get, uh, results from the end of the year from our field trials. 18:06 And also you get special offers like the one from Nature's to go to Commodity Classic Nature's can help you achieve 18:11 your full potential using liquid fertilizers, powered by Nature's Bio. Okay. That target specific periods 18:17 of influence throughout your growing season. You do that via precision placement techniques as a means to mitigate plant stress, enhance crop yield, 18:25 and boost your farms to return on investment. Go to Nature's nac CHUR s.com to learn more nature's lot of fun. 18:33 And, uh, you should have been to our plant, you should have been our panels that we had there at, uh, commodity Classic. 18:38 All right. So if you don't have an airway, there's a whole bunch of other things you can do, okay. At, at time of planting. 18:45 Um, one thing you guys do also, you use products and put them down to begin the degradation. Northern guys use 'em more than Southern guys 18:54 because you have to, because of the season you put down products that help expedite the breakdown of the residue. 19:03 So talk a little bit about that. Two of the northern guys. 'cause Kevin can give his take after you guys. 19:10 Yes. You know, we, we do so many things to remain no-till, but to break down these stalks, you know, from to corn head 19:18 to the airway, to the cows, to the planter, and then also these biological products. Um, the one that we use most of is, is res cycle. 19:28 Uh, we use that one because it will live in the plant food, which is of course the liquid byproducts my main source of fertility. 19:35 So we're saving a pass. It was a challenge for us to find one that would live in the acidic environment 19:41 that the plant food, um, contains. And it, it, it does help though, with the breakdown. It makes a market difference. 19:49 And I, I tell you, we, when we sit here and talk about all the things we do for residue breakdown, it's, it's pretty astonishing. 19:55 But, you know, after we started with extreme ag and our yields started to climb, and then the nutritional, the plant health started to climb, 20:05 that's when this became more and more of a challenge. And I, I remember about, you know, Dr. Belo, uh, Fred Belo talking about this, 20:12 that the biggest challenge of all these yields going up was the biomass was gonna go up. 20:16 And, uh, that was some something I had never contemplated before. And I will tell you now, as we're sitting here having this 20:23 conversation, I thought back to listening. Dr. Vilo say that son of a gun, he was right. Because all of the things that we do to do this, 20:30 especially in the northern environment that Lee and I are in. And so yeah, we, we spray 20:36 12.8 ounces per acre of plant of res cycle. We dump it in the plant food, it's sprayed across in the fall, 20:43 and we have done tests with it. Uh, it starts to work after two weeks. You know, the, it's you're introducing biology, 20:50 supplementing the biology. When it gets cold out, uh, it goes dormant. And when it gets back up to 50 degrees, it becomes, it, 20:58 it comes out of its dormancy and works again. We have done side by side trials and, you know, wind Grove has taken pictures 21:04 and we can, we can see how it works. I, I know Lee uses, uh, a different product or two. And you know, this, the idea is the same with all of 'em. 21:12 Go ahead Lee. Uh, yeah, we've worked with a few different products. We like the res cycle. 21:19 It seems that in our environment, if we get a little bit drier seems to survive the best. It, it seems to have the ability to go dormant 21:28 and kind of be there for when we do get moisture and take off again, breaking down stalks. Uh, we've worked with some decomp also, 21:37 uh, on wheat stubble. And, uh, we see some merits in it. One thing that people need 21:44 to realize on the residue is like, yeah, it can be a real challenge, but the better job that we do of breaking that down, 21:51 we're gaining so much in nutrients Mm-Hmm. That are sitting there, that we, that we were not getting before, that we're getting all these nutrients there 22:00 naturally broken down, chelated into the soil, ready for the next drop. So the products that these weren't heavily used 22:10 or even I'm, I never, they they weren't even really around like 10 years ago, were they? No, no. Five. Not, not to my knowledge. 22:17 Yeah. So these are, these are kind of in the last, last three to five years, these have become, and I'm not sure they're still widely adopted, is that, 22:24 I mean, we got decomp from, uh, hefty, we got res cycle, we got extract from magson residue Rx from concept agritech. 22:31 And we've, we've used them and, and you see results. I used that you sent win group out the picture. You guys seen them. This wasn't something you even, you, 22:38 you, it wasn't even in your playbook five years ago. No. It, it wasn't, you know, and then, and Lee, you know, that's something we hadn't even brought 22:45 up yet, is that nutrient value. You know, we talk about the, uh, uh, nutrient, nutrient subtraction, uh, I can't even think 22:55 of the term I'm trying to say right now, but from the grain, 230 bushel corn removes 60 removal. 23:03 That's what I was trying to say. Damien, uh, 230 bushel corn removes 64 pounds of K in the grain. 23:11 But get but 230 bushel corn has 256 pounds of K in the stalk. Imagine the value of the K in that corn stalk. 23:23 And Lee talked about it. It's chelated, it's ready to go, it's nutrient available. Synthetic fertility is not chelated 23:30 is not nutrient available. And the nutrition in those corn stalks is the most valuable you can find. 23:36 We, uh, we choose not to bail our cornstalks because you're removing that value. Yep. 23:42 All right. So you use these products, uh, up in the north. You've got a shorter breakdown, uh, season 23:49 because of the freezes. Kevin, you don't use any of these, uh, you know, meltdown extract residue, RX rest cycle decomp. 23:58 You don't use those because the weather is your friend more than it is up there where they got the freeze. 24:06 Yeah, we feel like, and we're, we are doing tests this year with a product called excavator. 24:11 We're going to try it on soybeans to see how it breaks the corn stalks down before the soybeans to get that pot ash 24:18 that Kelly's talking about, see if it'll be more available. Um, we may have been missing a boot, 24:24 but we've always felt like with our heat and all the rainfall we had, and as quick as we're, we're constantly trying 24:31 to get residue. We wanna keep our soils covered at all times. If that red clay, if the sun hits it, Damien, we dry out 24:37 so darn fast, it ain't funny. So we're trying to keep it covered up. We would love just a thick one two inch thick mat of residue 24:46 at all times throughout the summer if we could have it. That's what, that's what we really need. And that's for moisture, that's for moisture preservation 24:54 where you have more extreme temperatures and humidity and whatnot than they do up there. Yeah, and we just don't have the holding capacity. 25:01 Um, we, you know, I was, I was down at Chad's planting corn last week and it's just amazing to see the high calcium 25:09 red clay versus the high magnesium red clay that we have. I mean, his, his, it was just such a beautiful seed bed. 25:15 It was really interesting. And as we're changing our soil profiles on our calcium mag ratios, we're beginning to see that, um, 25:24 especially when we can keep that soil covered up a little bit. Just Yeah. So holding it's 25:29 moisture. Holding. It's moisture holding. It's also weed barrier, I presume, but it's a moisture holding capacity thing for you. 25:36 Yes. All right. No, Um, a couple of things we talked about then for the person that says, I, I'm not gonna go no-till 25:43 because my planter can't get through it. So we've talked about at time of combining, you might have something Kevin used the word aggressive. 25:52 Um, Lee says, I don't want anything on my head, my combine head, because I want my stalks to remain attached to the ground. 25:58 It's a little bit different from Kelly. So we've got three different opinions, but that's, that's conditions. 26:03 It's where you are, et cetera. Then we went to, um, after the combine we talked about if you plant cover crops and we talked about different forms of tillage or no tillage 26:14 or vertical tillage or this weird ass thing that Kelly has described. And it's very difficult for me to imagine, um, 26:23 Poker, It reminds me of the thing, you know, like when you go to a tractor pole, they've got a sled with concrete chunks on it going on a cable. 26:33 And I just keep envisioning, uh, somebody watched one of those one day and said, now let's make it a piece of tillage equipment. 26:39 Anyway, um, then, uh, no, no-tillage equipment, frankly. Um, alright. And then we talked about these products. 26:47 So now let's take me to planting time because we're there. Yeah. How you set up your planter to have success 26:56 for no-till planting, knowing that there is still residue out there. And I think we'll start with Lee. 27:01 'cause you probably have arguably the most residue out there because you've got less warm season 27:09 to break down the stuff and you've left your stuff attached. So I think you might be the most residue to manage. 27:15 And I think Kevin's probably the least amount by the time we get to him, although he has cover crops to get through. 27:20 But, Uh, well, in the off season, spend that time prepping your plant or prepping your air. Seeders. Have the sharpest blades have everything trued up. 27:34 Uh, we run two different styles of row cleaners that helps. Uh, we run, uh, hydraulic and we run regular floating. 27:44 Uh, we run hydraulic down force. Is This something that, wait, now, I, I'm not the farmer here. 27:49 Is this something that everybody listening to this understands sharpest blades, sharpest blades on, on what the coulters, 27:57 Uh, some guys do run Coors. They'll cut edge with their blades. We are looking at the least amount 28:03 of disturbance that we can. So we are not, uh, we run floating row cleaners, so we're not moving any dirt, we're just moving a little bit 28:11 of residue to prevent what they call here pending, which means you're pushing residue into the seed trench and that can give you a bad effect. 28:21 So we're doing that to eliminate that. Now, Real quickly, I know I, Hey, this is where you have, this is why you hired me to ask the questions. 28:28 There's probably a few people listening to this that would be, would've been embarrassed to ask that question. 28:34 Is hair pinning something getting residue into the furrow? Is that something you think everybody 28:38 understood except for me? Or do you think that's something that's, that's an important part of this discussion? 28:43 Uh, that's where it comes down to plant by conditions, not by calendar. If you're more of a no-till guide, that's really 28:50 how you focus is plant when the conditions are right. And so that way you can alleviate hair pinning issues and uh, be cutting to the residue. 29:00 Uh, there's time to get too damp to plant and you have to stop where if, you know, if you're tilling and turning everything under, you've got black ground. 29:09 Well, we have to work with the residue. Residue is our friend. It, it's huge for us. It's nutrients. It helps save moisture. We wanna work with our residue. 29:20 Kevin, ask, our residue levels are a lot higher than they used to be. Okay, I won't go there Kevin. Then we'll go to Kelly. 29:26 But I, I didn't know the her term hair p until just now and I understood you won't get seed to soil contact. So that device, the person that's listening to this says, 29:35 see that's exactly why I don't know till because I don't want to Lee described as though it's actually pretty easily alleviated. 29:43 But this seems like this would be an excuse. See, I can't keep this from happening. I can't keep residue outta my, uh, my seed trench. 29:51 That's why I don't no till, am I right. Is this one of the reasons right there, the hair pinning thing, is that something that would, 29:57 a bunch of people would say, I'm never gonna no-till because of that. It's a problem a lot of guys, they really get 30:02 Spooked by That. All Kelly, go, Kevin, go. One of you, I I find it amusing that a guy with my haircut, or at least haircut would talk about hair a little bit. 30:12 I'd like to add that, But yeah. Is that the Hair pinning is a problem if you don't have the, your planter set up correctly in no-till, you know, 30:22 there there's a, there's a few things that you need to do to manage your planter for no-till, 30:25 especially no-till corn on corn and, but which you do. Yeah. Which in Iowa you do more than many states. So, uh, so it's about the, the cutting. 30:37 What do, which one, what do we get? The really sharp ones? The cutting wheels. The true V. The true V. 30:43 And that's, that's what Lee's talking about. Needs to be very sharp. And he's right. You know, 'cause you want to cut that if, 30:49 if you do get residue there, that the true V has to encounter the row cleaner needs to get it outta the way, but it isn't gonna be a hundred percent. 30:56 And if that true v does encounter some residue, you want it to cut it and slice through it. 31:01 You do not want it to push it down into your in furrow, because that is hair pinning contact. Yeah. So your hair pinning is actually creates a wick 31:13 and it will wick the moisture outta that seed trench and it affects the germination of the seed. And that's, that's the kind 31:20 of the double-edged sword with it. It can, that's why Kelly and, and uh, Lee are saying you gotta cut it in into, 31:27 so it stays on top and it don't harp in and fall down in that trench. So you don't want it to go down 31:32 with the seed dis you want the seed disc to cut it in two and something like use coulters. 31:38 We got a couple planters with coulters and a couple without, or one without. Interesting. So by the way, wicking meaning it, that piece 31:46 of debris is down there, pulls moisture back up to the surface and then, and then it is depleting the moisture from 31:51 where you want it to be for the seed. I got it. Um, all, so he talked about the, the sharp, are we talking about after we run through a thousand acres, 31:59 we have to run back and sharpen 'em or we just do this preseason, like before we roll the planter out 32:04 and then it's good until the planter goes put back in the shed? We do it once a season at the beginning. 32:10 Make sure that the, that they're big enough, you know, because they're, they're gonna wear down. But in the, in the soil that Chad has to deal with 32:17 or Kevin has to deal with, I believe that they sometimes have to change a midseason at the size of acres that they go over 32:23 About 700 acres. We'll have to change our no-till, cos we, I have got a thousand acres out of my opener disc 32:32 where I did not run a coker in front of it. But if I do not run a coker in front of it, then it's, i it's really hard to get a thousand acres outta 32:41 that set of opener displays. So You're, you're pulling these things in five times a season? 32:48 No, no. We got three planters. So mine will get, uh, mine starts with a new set and then it'll get another set throughout the season. 32:58 Okay. Multiple sets of cultures. Oh, great. Talk to me about, okay, I Lee gave his assessment on planting. 33:06 Let's go ahead and stay with you, Kevin, because different conditions where you are, but still ly the same thing. 33:12 All right. Sharp. Uh, he just, he just, he was gonna give it all to us, so, okay. Tell us about your planter. He's got you put new opening. 33:22 Well, I keep calling 'em opening wheels, opening wheels, Truves Tru, what do you call Kelly? Tru v 33:29 Truves. Got it. Yeah. Tru V opening disc, which, and then we also, uh, two of our planters run, uh, the 25 way fluted coulter, which is approximately, 33:40 i I wanna say they cut approximately three quarters of an inch, if I remember right. Um, something like that. But, um, traditionally 33:49 everyone run cos here we are starting to go away from cultures a little bit and be more predominant with row cleaners. 33:56 However, a lot of our planters will not accommodate a row cleaner and a culture together. 34:03 So certain planter models will, some will not. So it just depends on your planter model that you have. The, the reason why we're going away is with our rocks 34:14 and our soil conditions. The more stuff we have on that road unit, the more it raises that road unit out of the ground 34:22 and you won't get that proper seed seed placement. The depth will be inconsistent. So if the depth changes, the emergence changes, 34:31 and obviously it could become a weed instead of a, a yield producing corn plant. So the less disturbance we can have on that row unit 34:42 is the better performance we can get out of it. And the same thing would be for uneven ground farmers that have real uneven ground. 34:50 A lot of terraces. If you got too long of a row unit, too many attachments that can hold that thing out of the ground when it goes over those ridges, Kelly May have 34:59 to deal with that with his terraces there as well. What about then, uh, speaking, kicking it to Kelly. Um, you talked 35:07 before we hit the record about changing your row width because it, toward, toward the back of the planter, you were flinging debris on top of 35:16 what had already been planted, which then defeats the purpose. It put too much debris on top of a, a planted row. 35:24 So on our, on our soybean planter who's a 40 foot planter, and the, the units are really on two bars, 35:31 we would call 'em pusher units. So you have, you have a bar that has plant that has, you know, it's a 31 row planter. 35:39 So the front bar would've 16 row units on, you know, John Deere planter, 16 row units on 30 inch spacing. And you could plant corn and then you could lower the back 35:49 bar down with a hydraulic cylinder. And that would have 15 row units also on 30 inch spacing. When you lower it down, it centers it up 35:58 and it essentially becomes then a 15 inch planter to plant. Well you could plant what we planted corn with it, 36:04 but you could plant, the idea is you could plant soybeans. Really idea to have 15 inch corn. 36:09 I found out we Vernon and I tried it. Terrible idea. But that's a different podcast. The, uh, the 15 inch soybeans then, 36:16 so then when you have a front bar and a back bar with units on it and you have the row cleaners, you're going 36:23 through the field and the row cleaners on that front bar are throwing that residue in between 'em. And again, it's a 30 inch gap. 36:31 Well then if it's, if it's a little bit moist out or something like that, or a little bit humid, you know, like we would say it feels like it's tough, you know, 36:39 because there's moisture into those corn stalks. That rear unit would become overwhelmed and plugged because not only is it dealing with the residue 36:47 that is in its row, it's now dealing with the residue that has been thrown from those front units on top of it. And we had trouble dealing with that. 36:57 If it was dry enough that we could get through it, then if it was dry enough that we could get through it, it became a problem that the rear bar was throwing residue, 37:07 uh, had enough residue to deal with it would throw it back on the row that was planted with the front units. 37:13 Yeah. So then there was a germination problem with those rows because they would get covered up and, and the better the yields became, 37:19 the worse the problem became. We even took All-Cause you had more residue, by the way, how'd you discover this? 37:24 I mean, you're talking about a yield problem on every other row. You don't, your combine doesn't tell you yield per row. 37:31 So this is a hell of a, this is a kind of a hell of a diagnostics issue. You could physically walk out there 37:36 and see which, which rows had been planted with the rear units and which ones had been planted with the front because they were covered up. 37:43 And then there were skips in those rows from the germination to tell you what the yield loss is. 37:48 I can't, because you can't tell down to the row like that. But the germination was much worse. 37:54 It was much worse on those front units. We even took the row cleaners off and, and got different row cleaners from Yetter that didn't have 38:02 as big an angle to 'em trying to deal with the problem. And it helped a little bit, but it was still a problem, especially on those humid days 38:10 where you couldn't get through it. So that planner was the plan. The 15 inch planner was a 2013 model planner. 38:17 We had rebuilt it a couple three times. We, we could have rebuilt it again, but we made the choice to trade. 38:24 And this year I still have a 40 foot beam planter, but it's a 20 inch planter, not a 15. All the row units are on the same bar. 38:32 They're working in conjunction with each other instead of fighting each other. And it, uh, we, we just started planting beans today 38:39 and, you know, so it's very, but so far we're very impressed with the performance of this planner. 38:44 So what's interesting, we talk about residue management, um, because for the person that doesn't want to go no-till, 38:49 that's who we're trying to address this to or that is doing no-till, but not maybe as, uh, effectively as they would like Mm-Hmm. 38:57 That was just a matter of the equipment was wrong only because one row was 18 inches behind the, or 12 inches behind the other row. 39:07 Right. But it really, it's probably about three foot, you know, from the front to the back. Oh, yeah, yeah, Yeah. And that, you know, that what, 39:14 what was the sentence that you just said there? Not, not up to the standards that they would like. Is that what you said? They 39:19 Said not as a, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're, they're dabbling. They're dabbling into no-till, 39:23 but they're not as effective as they would like to be because that's who we're addressing this to. Yes. Why would tell you the three people on this, this, 39:30 uh, podcast with you have never been as effective as they wanted. And we've tried it all. So that's, 39:37 But you're do, but you're all three doing no-till and also Right. We all Three doing no-till. 39:41 And we, and we and we keep trying to make improvements. But gosh, Dan, I, Damian, I sometimes hope I sometimes in my life hope I can step 39:49 across the line where I say, now I'm effective because I've not reached it yet. Lemme know when you get 39:55 there. I wanna know what it's like. Well here, you know, I guess again, we talked about how we're, we're not 20, we're not 20 anymore. 40:02 So we've been around a little bit. And I remember the fir the beginning of no-till. And I know that the machine that, 40:08 and I'm not as up to snuff as you guys. I had to ask Lee to explain stuff about his planter. I remember the first no-till planter. 40:14 I saw 1983 or four or something like that. And it, At our age, we're just hoping for 20 more crops. So, so talk to me. Okay. 40:23 Um, we said residue management for successful, no-till planting. We've gone from, from the combine to the, uh, 40:34 equipment, the biological Products, Mechanical, mechanical methods of management without using a moldboard plow or chisel plow 40:41 or the things we used to use 40 years ago. Um, and then, uh, products. And then we were talking about some other practices. 40:48 And then we also talked about on the planter down pressure was one thing that I wrote down when we did our prep 40:53 before we hit record. Anybody wanna address that Lee? Wanna start with down pressure or Kelly, Do you have hydraulic down pressure Lee? 41:01 Uh, yeah, we do. On both planters now. Yep. Yes, we have, we have. Go ahead, Kevin. Oh no, I'm, I'm, uh, I'm a hundred percent hydraulic. 41:12 And then, uh, one planter does have pneumatic closing wheels and it has pneumatic row cleaners on it. 41:20 And so Kelly, We are, we are a hundred percent. We have three corn planters and one bean planter. We're a hundred percent hydraulic. 41:27 Uh, a lot of people hydraulic down pressure. I, you know, Mike Evans at his previous job at Nutrien was a precision planning specialist. 41:35 His data, you know, so I, a lot of credibility for me 'cause it's Mike's data hydraulic down pressure and corn over a five year period, average nine 41:44 and a half bushel side by side. Uh, a lot of people spent the money initially to put hydraulic down pressure on their corn 41:51 because of course everybody loves corn. And when people don't pay as much attention to soybeans as we maybe should, and I'll tell you in the early days 41:59 of extreme ag that I have to give credit, Kevin, Kevin is the one that said, the hydraulic down pressure in the soybeans is more 42:06 important than the corn because, you know, corn is approximately six inches apart. The seeds and the soybeans are an inch and a half apart. 42:15 And so that seed placement becomes even more critical. And after, you know, that was a statement that nobody had ever made to me before. 42:23 And then shortly after that there were, there were other people here that had, uh, again, a, a planter that could plant corn and beans 42:30 and you could put that back bar down. And they did not apply the hydraulic down pressure to the back bar they planted for a year or two. 42:38 And you could see the physical difference in the, in the, in the plants, how much better the front rows 42:44 were than the back rows. Again, I can't tell you what the yield loss or gain would be, but there's a physical difference. 42:51 And you could pick out the row with the hydraulic down pressure. Okay, so on hydraulic down pressure, I, I don't how, 42:59 I have no idea how many planters are running around in North America that don't have it. But for the, 43:07 for the topic we're covering today about successfully no tilling into residue 43:12 and you're gonna have more residue if you're a high yield person, high yields produce more fodder, et cetera. 43:18 Um, hydraulic down pressure's a must Of all the things we've talked about today. If you told me I could only have one of them, 43:26 I would take hydraulic down pressure. Yeah. Kevin's nodding his head. Lee's nodding his head. All right. So, so it started with the combine, 43:34 manage managing, uh, residue from the combine. Different, uh, methods of tillage which aren't really tillage 43:40 like vertical tillage or the airway. And then we talked about the products and then we talked about the planter setup. 43:45 And then, uh, last thing, hydraulic pressure is the one thing you'd take. All right, get me outta here. What do I need to know? 43:51 I want to be a successful no-till planter, uh, Lee, what do I need to know? I wanna be successful No tiller. 43:57 'cause I believe the sustainability programs are gonna pay me money, like through Arva and Tru Tera. 44:01 Um, I wanna do this. I've been reluctant because conventional works better. I'm not, what do I need to know, 44:10 Uh, to be a successful no tiller? Uh, like everything else, it's a systems approach. And really you need to open yourself up to the mindset 44:19 of its truly part of a regenerative approach. You're doing the whole thing from cycling your residue, raising the crop, managing that residue again, 44:29 starting your next, next crop. It's all part of a circle. It's all part of a cycle. And once you adapt kind of your whole program to 44:37 that approach, it all starts coming together. All right. Who wants to go next? Uh, I'll be glad to. 44:47 The, the biggest thing about when you adapt to no-till, uh, what I've seen over the years that's, 44:52 that's discouraged growers from it is, and I've seen it firsthand on a lot of my farms where we took 'em out of tobacco 44:59 and put 'em into no-till was the first year you'd no-till is, you feel pretty good about it. 45:07 The second year you're like, I'm never gonna do this again. And then the third year you're gonna be like, 45:12 wow, where did that come from? And I don't know if it's more with our clay soils that we see that, but our second year going into no-till 45:19 from tillage to permanent, no-till that second year tends not to be quite as good of a yield, uh, as what the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. 45:29 The longer we do it, the better it is. And it's, it's a systems approach. It's a mind game and it's, you gotta have the right attitude 45:39 and, but the savings on fuel labor equipment is just, there's no way we could farm today if we had to till all our ground. 45:49 We could not do it, Damien. We couldn't get the help. We couldn't afford the fuel, we couldn't afford the equipment in our, in our geograph. 45:55 And when you think about, yeah, you're doing less people, you've only got a handful of people. 45:58 You're covering a lot of acres. But the other thing is you're getting way more yield. So that's a lot more work. 46:03 And you're also going through way more fodder and you're doing it with way less fertilizer in the soil than you did 25 years ago. 46:11 Yeah. And we're not buying the fertilizer we was 10 years ago. I mean, we just keep cutting our fertilizer back. 46:16 And, and you know, Kelly's helped me on this is, you know, we're focusing more on a lot of our micro elements 46:22 that we didn't think about before. You know, for years we looked at NP and K and, uh, now that we're in no-till and, 46:28 and bringing these yields up, we're learning that the NP and K is just part of the puzzle. 46:33 There's so much more to it. Yeah. And no-till, no-till and residue management playing into a fertility plan. It, it's, it's the, it's all the same. 46:43 It's the intentional congruence. Which brings me to Kelly Garrett a term that I taught him a term that I taught him. Yes, go ahead. 46:50 Yeah. Well, Kelly and Lee both, they was just talking about, you know, the most, the most plant available nutrient is one 46:56 that's been recycled by a plant, uh, or broke down from a plant. And man, it's so true. 47:03 I mean, they, they made believers out of me on it. Well, 250, was it two 50 pounds of potash per per acre of cornstalks or something like that? 47:10 So go ahead, get me outta here. Two pounds, 250 pounds of potassium and 230 bushel cornstalk residue. When a nutrient has been 47:19 through a plant once it's 10 times more available to the next plant. Neil Kinzie hands on agronomy. I learned that from Lee. 47:26 Interesting. All right. Is that your last tip? Is that your last tip Tip It, uh, the no tilling is a systems approach. 47:32 If a person wanted to leg into it, shall we say the first thing I would do is hydraulic downforce. Then I would take the no-till coulters off the planter. 47:42 Most of 'em have 'em. I believe I would put row cleaners on after that. 47:45 I would look at the combine. I would look, you know, the, the biological products, things like that to, 47:51 And look at the combine mean. Look at the combine you meant put something on your combine head that it begins the degradation of the residue. Yes. 47:57 When they look at the combine, I mean something mechanical to do that, but whether it be a yet or devastator 48:02 or chopping corn header, you know, depending on your area. Sure. But to me, the first 48:06 and foremost starts with the planner and the hydraulic downforce is priority one. Just like we talk about in a foliar program 48:14 or planner, applied fertility. It isn't one thing. It's a systems approach. And this is a systems approach. 48:20 And it starts with the planner. The name's Kelly Garrett. Lauren joined by Kevin Matthews and Lee Luber. 48:28 I'm Damien Mason. Um, I'll tell you what, if you wanna see where these things actually can be viewed in the field 48:35 and whether it works or not, the great news is we've got a bunch of field days and I wanna tell you about them. 48:39 You can come to these field days free of charge. They're open to any body. We start in May, May 16th at Chad Henderson's in Madison, 48:47 Alabama, June 13th. We're gonna be at Kelly's up in Crawford County, Iowa. You know where that is. It's about 70 miles from Omaha 48:55 Airport just to give you your bearings. Uh, we're gonna be there and he's got a whole bunch of stuff to show you 49:00 and including some of this no-till stuff. 'cause everything you do is no-till, right? That's right. And you're gonna be showing 49:07 us a whole bunch of stuff. I know that we've got a huge, huge thing. Uh, and then we're gonna be at, um, we're gonna be from his, 49:14 we're gonna be June 27th and Miles Arms in McGee, Arkansas on June 27th. We're going to be in, uh, 49:21 Yadkinville slash East Central. I, I don't know where the field day is. Where is it? Kula Me Kme, Kula Me 49:30 Hula Me. North Carolina, August 8th. That Kevin's, we're gonna be August 23rd at, uh, temples 22nd. 49:36 I'm sorry, August 22nd. Um, since Kelly's on here real quickly, I'll just tell you what's kind of cool about his. 49:41 And for all of them, his starts at 1:00 PM Several of 'em start in the morning, especially in the south. So it's gonna be hot down there. 49:47 So his starts at 1:00 PM and goes till seven. We will have a dinner at that. But if you are a member, if you pay seven $50 a year 49:53 to become an Extreme Ag member, we're gonna do something very special the evening 49:56 before each of the extreme mag field days for the paying members only. We have a dinner on site. 50:02 And then we're also going to invite our business partners along so you can get a little conversation 50:06 and go deeper in on a topic. So for members only the evening before, we're gonna have something special. 50:11 And then we're gonna have the field day at each one of these guys farms. So Mark down your calendar, May 16th at, uh, in Alabama, 50:18 June 12th, I'm sorry, June 13th, Iowa. June 27th, Arkansas, August 8th Arc, uh, North Carolina, August 22nd, Maryland. 50:27 Uh, thanks so much for being here. We covered a hell of a topic and a bunch of information here. 50:32 This is one of my favorite topics we've covered so far this year. We're talking about residue manage 50:36 for successful, no-till planting. If you've been reluctant, if you have hesitation, take the advice that you just got here today. 50:41 Hundreds of videos just like this at Extreme Ag Farm. Thanks for being here, everybody. Till next time, I'm Damien Mason with Xtreme Ag. 50:48 That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve. Make sure to check out Extreme ag.farm for more great content to help you squeeze more profit out 50:57 of your farming operation. Cutting the curve is brought to you by cloths where machines aren't just made, they're made. 51:04 For more. Visit cloth.com and start cutting your curve with cutting edge equipment.

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