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Farming Question

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Now that it's "plow day" season, I noticed some farmers in the area (and they're aren't many left these days) are not turning the soil over. They just disc the heck out of the previous crop and then plant the new crop.

Is this the new technique? Another soil conservation procedure? The end of the bottom plow?

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Bill; this is known as conservation tillage. Incorporates crop residue to help stop wind and rain erosion as well as helping prevent soil compaction. Crop will probably be planted with a no till planter but this method is not true no till. Depends on crop whether next fall they may use a moldboard plow or leave all the crop residue on the surface and no till the following spring. Just another of the many methods of modern farming...Dave

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One implement commonly known as a "ripper" tills the soil 18 inches deep, give or take, and leaves crop residue more towards the surface to help prevent wind and water erosion. The Case unit above is one of the latest generation.

The plow is still a viable tool but it is "slow" compared to the new tools. With the small margin of profit the farmer sees it's important to cover as much ground as possible as quickly as possible.

The cost to plant an acre of corn these days is $500+ Doing the math 1000 acres is a half million dollars. That is a lot of cash to lay out without assurance of a return. A 1000 acre farm these days is considered "medium to small".


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