Final tune-ups are taking place on many farms around the state as planting will begin soon. The latest HAT Soil Health Podcast, that you can find at hoosieragtoday.com or on Apple Podcasts, covers what farmers with a no-till system and cover crops should be considering as they make those final tune-ups.
Barry Fisher, a farmer and recent retiree of USDA’s NRCS after 39 years, says if you’re switching from a conventional system to no-till,
“What we’re really trying to achieve is that higher ear count. It’s no different than conventional farming. We want every seed placed exactly the same depth and as close to the same spacing as possible. So, as we come from a conventional mindset, you know, we’re planting behind a soil finisher that we may have gotten away with some things that we won’t be able to get away with in a no-till situation.”
For Fisher, the placement of starter fertilizer is very important.
“Maybe this is a new planter. We want to make sure that that starter fertilizer is being placed exactly the same distance on every row from the seed so that every seed is not only the same depth, same spacing, but gets the same environment. And fertilizer has a lot to do with that same environment.”
And, of course, Fisher says you need to check all your electronics.
“You’re going to check sensors. You’ve got to run it out in the field even though that field’s not ready to plant yet. You’ve still got to put it in the ground so that you can check any of the sensors. You know, a lot of these planters have not only seed drop sensors, but they’ve got now down pressure sensors and all this. You’ve got to make sure all the electronics are really ready to go.”
After you’ve made all these modifications, Fisher says you’ll still have to get off the planter and make more after you’ve gone in the field. Tune in to the HAT Soil Health Podcast to learn more from Fisher and AJ Adkins from NTM Ag Equipment.