Thursday, June 20, 2013

Planting Into Rye

This is a picture of my friend Lucas Criswell planting corn into tall cereal rye near Lewisburg, Pa a month ago..  I like the warning he gave our friends "this is not for flatlanders."

I met Lucas at a meeting I was teaching at years ago in Maryland I believe.  He was young and asked lots of questions.  I can see he is really doing well with notill and cover crops.  That is evident after following his posts for many years and watching his progress.  I usually see him at the National NoTillage Conference each January no matter where it is.  I know he was in Indianapolis for the last one.

His post has 22,000 plus views at last count.  That's because lots of guys are watching him and lots of farmers are adding cereal rye to their cover crop rotation.  Conservation Cop said "he is proving those wrong who say this can't be done.

Conservation Cop is Brian Sneeringer, a savvy soil and water man who took a gamble on me about the same amount of years ago to speak at their annual conservation training meeting.  The place was packed and Lucas was sitting near the front row taking notes and asking questions.  Golly, I've had a good life!

To see this younger guys excel just warms my heart.  While I am writing this, my friend Jules in Missouri emails me this.  You can see why some farmers want no part of government programs and how government programs aren't exactly taylored to the way Lucas and others farm today.

As you can see from the picture, Lucas' number one problem is erosion.  The soils I've seen in Pennsylvania are more eroded than mine and mine is eroded way too much.  Read the thread and get a jist of the questions and answers.  Lucas does a good job.

zkeele complimmented Lucas on his Agco tractor.  I wanted to write "guys who drive other colors don't do things like this" but that isn't true either.  You have to be a little rebel to try things like this as Lucas is but only because it can work, it saves soil and there is profit in it.  How else would you farm erodible soils, with a plow?

That didn't work 100 or 200 years ago so here we are notilling into rye so big you can't see over the hood.

I like that.

Good job, Lucas Criswell and good luck at the pulls this summer if you have time to pull.

Ed Winkle

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