Friday, February 19, 2010

No-Till Blog

Darrel Bruggink at No-Till Farmer just posted my New Zealand No-Till blog on You have to register to read it but here it is on my blog:

We are in New Zealand promoting and teaching no-till. It’s an exciting experience and a great opportunity for my wife LuAnn and I. New Zealand is ripe for no-till. They notice their great soil quality diminishing after 100 years of tillage and are interested in learning how we make it work in the states.

I hosted a farmer in 2006 and took him to no-till farms in Iowa and Illinois. He even brought home Keeton seed firmers and ordered no-till attachments. We spent 3 days with their family near Onewhero between Auckland and Hamilton. We traveled the south island and saw tillage radish that will be shipped to the states for our cover crop use.

This farmer has been using my planter setup for 3 years now and his crop looks great. You can already see soil-quality improvements, which the local media and some scientists are picking up on. We have filmed a TV show and completed journal interviews while there and at the Waikato Aerable Research Station.

The field day we taught at had almost double their record 2009 crowd on Tuesday and ran out of everything — plates, programs and almost food. Plenty of water and sunscreen though! That is a must down under.

I spoke to the Maize Board yesterday and we toured a local weed science station and had lunch with their scientists. They don’t have the weeds or other pests we have yet, but they are coming. They were amazed of the four glyphosate-resistant weeds I spoke of in my home area.
All of the corn goes to dairies here, mostly as silage, and they are a net importer of corn. There are lots of opportunities for corn growers here.

Yes, this is the trip of the lifetime for me and I thank No-Till Farmer for helping me get the word out. It’s all about net profit for me, and the other benefits come along for the ride. My no-till student studies No-Till Farmer magazine and I shared that with the corn growers who really want to get serious about no-till.

The great benefit of a good no-till planter setup is it can be used for no-till, minimum till or tillage as you progress and learn. They don’t teach this stuff at the university.


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