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Country Discussion Topics
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No till planting?
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Spence    Posted 10-02-2003 at 19:46:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a 2 gang disk harow. I was thinking of not ploughing. Then set the harrow for straight cut which I figure would scuff the surface enough for seed germination. Then I would broadcast alphalfa seed (I don't have a drill). Then I go over it again with the harrow set on angle to cover.

What king of crop can I expect to get using this method?. I figure the short hay stubble would make a good cover for birds and the seed would germinate well because rain wouldn't disturb the seed too much with all the stubble, although the alphalfa would have a tuffer going because of
lesser sunlight and competition from plant growth around it. Or is this the wrong way to no till.


Ron/PA    Posted 10-03-2003 at 08:26:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Spence, you can do what you are talking about but not the way you are going about it.
If you are not going to plow, then you will need to burn down the hay stubble. You can spray the field with Roundup, wait 3-5 days and then start your no-till process. If you don't do a burn down first, the hay will choke out the alfalfa, and all will be for naught. Personally I'd plow, disc, harrow very lightly, then broadcast my seed. Harrow a second time as light as you can set it, and go home, say a few prayers, and hope for the best.
I've done it thes way alot, and I've had good success.

Tom A    Posted 10-03-2003 at 04:49:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've tried your method twice, neither time with alfalfa but rather with a pasture mix both times.
I'm batting .500 with the method--one field turned out nice, the other failed to germinate much at all.

Tom A

Steve from Tn    Posted 10-02-2003 at 20:31:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
No-till planting means that the sod is not disturbed by a plow before the planting. A special planter with some kind of opener is used to cut a path so that the seed can be buried with minimal soil disturbance. Usually the plants(weeds) that are growing are "burned down" chemically just before planting or during the planting operation. The two main benefits of no-till farming are 1. low equipment costs and 2. almost no erosion.

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