No Till biological farming

Discussion in 'Tillage' started by Louis mc, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Louis mc

    Louis mc Well-Known Member

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    http://youtu.be/sdFev2UifmE
    An interesting presentation from an interesting guy. Even he says don't believe everything you are told but there is something very interesting about it all though
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  2. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

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    am I right in thinking that is Oliver's son? loved reading his yearly report
     
  3. nashmach

    nashmach Well-Known Member

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    That's him alright Ozzy, he is also a Nuffield scholar from a few years back.
     
  4. Oakley

    Oakley Well-Known Member

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    I'd imagine no till biological farming is showing some success in parts of the world which have relative low yields, low disease pressure and most importantly low annual rainfall and so moisture availability issues. Different ball game here, high yield potential, high annual rainfall, high disease pressure.
    I would be all for soil health but I don't expect it to reduce my herbicide or fungicide costs, more to improve nutrient availability during peak uptake and so push the yield potential of the crop that's it, nutrients will still need to be applied- you have to return what you are removing
     
  5. Hardysplicer

    Hardysplicer Well-Known Member

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    Quite possible he gets around 600mm of rain a year. Closer to 1000 here


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  6. Oakley

    Oakley Well-Known Member

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    He quotes some French guy as saying something along the lines of the measure of soil health is what a soil can grow without the addition of inputs.
    I would think that the measure of soil health is what a soil can produce from the addition of inputs-nutrient efficiency etc
     
  7. kildare

    kildare Well-Known Member

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    And the ultimate in no till is a field that is grass long term . Without doubt the soil structure improves no end.
    But does the soil health improve to the extent that the grass will grow well without artificial fertlizers. I dont know the answer to that. I have seen old pasture here grow well enough for the year with 3 bags of 18/6/12
    Then i read that dairy farm greenfields didnt grow grass as well as older dairy farms despite being well fertlized. That would back up the soil health argument
    Maybe there are some on here that dont spread fert on grassland and could comment
     
  8. The Leprechaun

    The Leprechaun Well-Known Member

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    Grassland management is more than lots of fertiliser, the underlying fertility is different everywhere, like that fellas different fields.

    Just saw the video, it's thought provoking i think, it probably asks more questions than gives answers buts that's the whole point of a Nuffield scholarship. Don't really know enough about growing crops to say if he is right about growing with less inputs, but surely it's an attractive option to consider.


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  9. Louis mc

    Louis mc Well-Known Member

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    You could be right. The French guy is Frederick Thomas. Another very interesting man. He was over here doing a talk in the north East last winter. He seems to have turned some pretty poor soils inside out by no till and cover crops etc.
     
  10. kildare

    kildare Well-Known Member

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    The sales point of the no till is that the worm count improves a lot.
    Then we are told that the worm casts have 5 times more available nutritants to the plants.
    Some american farmers have claimed their yields are as good as their neighbours and they are not using fertlizer due to this improved soil health.
    There must be farms in Ireland that are doing ok too without fertlizer eg Meath grazing farms and there are farms that would go purple for want of some fertlizer
     
  11. The Leprechaun

    The Leprechaun Well-Known Member

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    I have a few grass fields both ways, previous management I suppose. With ever increasing fert, aphicide resistance, septoria resistance, herbicide resistance the arable boys have a hard time ahead, the video offers a little bit of a vision, everyone will need their own road map.

    On septoria, all I've heard so far from the 'experts' is make sure use plenty of fungicides from all groups and mix them up. Ehhhh! Maybe we should not believe all we are told, and try something a bit different


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  12. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    I love this "proof" that tillage land is all doomed because a long term tillage farm, that was a bit run down (NO offence to all of those that had worked it) doesn't yield as well as they thought it would, surprise surprise.
    Long term lea is a massive carbon/ OM sink and this just doesn't appear, it has to be grown over the first few years.
    Expecting new Lea in long term tillage ground to be able to build this up with out it affecting yield is just stupid and no proof of tillage land being all doomed and like wondering why cow gets thin while milking well even when she is being fed well.
    I would also love to see the test results for Greenfields before they started, because I would have always thought that farm was only starting to be built back up and would expect there were way more 1's and 2's in the results than 3's and 4's.
     
  13. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Guys have gone broke proving that No Till will work but they have also gone broke beating ground to death with harrows . I notice he mentions companion cropping which I have done a bit of with some success and some learning experiences . There is more to soil than N.P.K because it is a living thing . If I had being ploughing for the last 14 years on my walk this morning I would have seen lakes and ponds but everything is in general above water . Anything that adds life to the soil will give you healthier crops and more even establishment .Worms and the fungi that feed on their excrement are what the soil has always used to sustain plants . No till seems to help these worms and fungi . Min Till helps them to a lesser degree .
    Doing what chemical and fertiliser companies say is like a drug addict taking advice from their dealers . I would never have started growing Winter Wheat if my Variable costs and my gross margin were the same figure . Over the last 35 years more inputs are required to get the same yield and nobody is telling me these inputs are going to get cheaper or I can use less of them using a smaller tractor .
     
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  14. Louis mc

    Louis mc Well-Known Member

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    What companion cropping have you been doing? I have buckwheat with wosr this year
     
  15. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Spring Barley and pea mix called combicrop from western seeds . Volunteer spring Oilseed rape was a problem in a few fields . It yielded to the capacity of the fields it was in with 50 units of nitrogen and no fungicide as it never needed it . Combine harvested it and sold it for the same price as wheat but it was worth more . The Barley grown on its own would have had Ryncosporium and the peas would have had mildew but the two of them together were clean .
    I grew Oats and peas with 50 units of Nitrogen but that was in 2012 and the peas died out with the wet but it yielded over two tonne and busheled 58 .
    [MENTION=6197]Louis mc[/MENTION]

    http://www.westernseeds.com/r-nav/77.jsp
     
  16. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    Non Inversion Tillage and Minimum Disturbance Tillage have advantages for soil improvement and workability, but where did they gain the moral high ground on chemical use?
    Most are Roundup and Pacifica addicts.
     
  17. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    Not at the Non Inversion Tillage long but you can see the improvement in trafficability and soil structure, but funny thing is here, the long term Leas are wettest followed by the Non Inversion Tillage ground and the ploughed ground is driest by far, :lol:.
    But that is a product of where I choose to put each not a comment on how good each is for the ground.
     
  18. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    I found that min till changed the weeds we had with more grass weeds . I actually have virtually given up pre harvest roundup and my Roundup use in 2014 was less than 2L / Ha. Only the winter wheat area about 25% of my ground gets Pacifica or Alister and I have reduced my Nitrogen use to 160 units /acre on Winter wheat .and the Spring Barley and winter Oats are easy to control weeds in including Grass weeds .
     
  19. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    I would have thought your spring Barley got very similar spray program to mine?
    Pre-emerge Stomp, post emerge Cameo Max + Reaper and Axial for wild oats.
    That is 5 herbicides I used on my spring barley :no:.
     
  20. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Ploughing is not going to reduce it , and Axial is not going to stay working forever as we are selecting for Oats with a thick cell wall . Spending €20 on weed control and still spending €160 on fertiliser fungicides and seed ..
     
  21. The Leprechaun

    The Leprechaun Well-Known Member

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    Bog man, are you happy with your yields with min till, are you more profitable than before do you think?


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  22. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    My Crops are more Even with less problems on the headlands . My spring Barley yields have gone up more than my wheat and my spring barley is surviving better with less scalding in wet springs . I have changed to growing winter wheat in only the good fields where there are no problems and my yields have gone up but not sure if that is caused by dropping the poorer fields . The poorer field would have gone to spring barley and they are doing well . It is near ten years since I sold the last plough so my diesel cost is reduced . I am using less Nitrogen on winter wheat but more herbicide but overall a saving .
    Probably more profitable with more respectable crops . If I had stayed with ploughing I would probably have gone to furrow pressing so I would not have been standing still .
     
  23. The Leprechaun

    The Leprechaun Well-Known Member

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    That sounds promising. Good results and something worth looking at a bit closer.

    Do Teagasc have a view on this, do they do trials ?


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  24. Bog Man

    Bog Man Well-Known Member

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    Teagasc in general would know very little about min till . Nothing wrong with ploughing but if there are problems arising min till might work but with new problems .
     
  25. nashmach

    nashmach Well-Known Member

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    [MENTION=6197]Louis mc[/MENTION], this is an important topic a and slightly off track on the WW thread so I have moved it to a new thread.:thumbup:
     

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