Sunday, April 28, 2013

Earthworms

Here is a pretty good picture of what our soybean stubble looks like with no-till corn.  The weeds and cover crop have been killed, the path has been swept by the row cleaner and we have a good stand of corn where there was well digested soybean residue.

Another question popped up on Crop Talk to me from a fellow who calls himself dieselade about my statement on a post.  I had stated under a picture that the earthworms would have eaten up all the residue that farmer was planting into.  Dieselade wondered what was I talking about?

It all came from this post.  If you read through it, it's a pretty good discussion about raising notill corn into stubble, especially soybean stubble.  This video called the smoke test, shows how much earthworms can aerate soil.

Continuous notill builds earthworm populations, especially if the rotation is high in soybean production like mine is.  We live in a very good region to produce soybeans of all kinds.  Soybeans yield well, make a good profit and are higher in oil and protein than soybeans produced in other regions of the world.

We learned several years ago here if you don't plant a cover crop into soybean stubble, the stubble won't hold because it is all eaten up by earthworms.  The residue I saw in the picture in the link above showed little earthworm activity on the existing mulch.  Here we would have nothing but earthworm mittens.  The mulch would be gone.

I enjoy participating in these questions.  If you have topics to discuss, please comment or email me.

Thanks,

Ed Winkle

1 comment:


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