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#3003973 - 10/28/12 05:56 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: Football Hunter]
8 POINTS OR BETTER
10 Point


Registered: 08/15/07
Posts: 4078
Loc: Hardin, Co.

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Plant them in Crimson and Arrow-leaf clove. Mow the around July 10th and spray them gly. Lightly disk before Aug 1. to get last years seed to germinate and you will be surprised how much it builds the soil in five years.
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" Some localities are willing to work for their sport, and have plenty. Others are willing merely to take what comes easy, and have little or none." - Aldo Leopold

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#3004053 - 10/28/12 06:44 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: 8 POINTS OR BETTER]
eyeseeker
4 Point


Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Hickman county

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Is it better to til in the wheat while it is green or do you get the same effect from just tilling in the straw? I usually plant it in conjunction with crimson clover and have had great success with dragging the wheat and clover down and allowing the crimson to resprout...it then usually last the remainder of the summer and provides a forage the deer cannot decimate.
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#3005889 - 10/29/12 02:03 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: BSK]
Quailman
8 Point


Registered: 08/04/03
Posts: 1414
Loc: Winchester, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
But in loamy-clay with a lot of chert, I have to strongly disagree with those who say to limit tillage. Absolutely the very best thing we have ever done for our ridge-top plots is to increase their ability to hold moisture through chisel-plowing as deep as possible, and then removing as much rock as you can. Without the tillage, those soils simply won't absorb or hold moisture. Biomass build-up is also critical to holding moisture.


BSK,

Tillage may help initially (in your situation) with breaking up soil compaction and improving water infiltration, but over time, tillage on a continual basis will only decrease soil health. You will actually degrade organic matter, disrupt biological activity, and decrease water infiltration. It has been proven time and time again. We even have a mobile rainfall simulator that we use to prove this point. We can look at water infiltation for various cropping systems (conventional, no-till, minimum till, permanent grass (both introduced and natives), etc. You would be amazed at the results over a short period of time. The conventional tillage scenario has the poorest water infiltration of any system hands down. Our test results showed that the majority of water in conventional cropping systems merely runs off the surface.
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#3006051 - 10/29/12 03:26 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: Quailman]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64817
Loc: Nashville, TN

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You may very well be right over time Quailman. However, after 4 years of annual fall chisel-plowing, our soils just keep getting better and better, retaining more moisture than they ever have. But there may be a "turning point" where continued tillage causes problems.

Before we started the chisel-plowing, a hard rain wouldn't soak more than an inch into the soil. Now we see good soil moisture 4-6 inches deep after even a moderate rain. But again, there may be a turning point where the tillage causes problems. That will be something we will have to watch closely.

What would be the symptoms of over tillage?
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3006666 - 10/29/12 09:13 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: BSK]
eyeseeker
4 Point


Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Hickman county

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Wouldnt water infiltration also be affected by hardpan underneath or lack thereof? Chisel plowing should reduce the formation of hardpan under the soil that you can get from always discing to the same depth as the chisel will continually seek to go deeper and it rips the soil instead of cutting it right? I have been experiencing the same results as BSK as far as soil improvement year after year and I know that it has alot to do with tilage. One big plot that i am continually expanding shows dramatic differences in growth based on the amount it has been turned over. The original section is growing gangbusters and the middle(turned first time 2years ago) is considerably less vigorous with this years cleared section struggling altogether. All were planted same rate same time same amount of fert same amount of sun etc. the only thing it could possible be other than tillage is N. i know that tilling a new plot will move alot of organic material into the soil which can tie up N as it breaks down, but as BSK said the moisture content of the soil is different also. I had to wait to till the plot from when i had originally planned because I would have just been making mud clumps that would not have broken apart and would have been creating hardpan underneath.....the new section was turning over beautiful and fluffy because it wasnt as moist to depth.
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#3008315 - 10/30/12 09:22 PM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: BSK]
Quailman
8 Point


Registered: 08/04/03
Posts: 1414
Loc: Winchester, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
What would be the symptoms of over tillage?


BSK, I worked all day today with my soil scientist, and we had a chance to discuss this topic. I mentioned to him the soil types you are working with, and of course, he is familiar with your area. Basically he told me that the potential problems I mentioned were correct in regards to continual tillage.

Also, as far as additional issues over time, he said annual tillage will bring additional rocks towards the upper part of the soil profile, which inhibits water infiltration. He also mentioned that additional problems you may encounter would include a tillage pan, soil erosion, weathering, excessive leaching of nutrients, and of course decreased organic matter that is extremely critical for retaining moisture.

One of the biggest problems encountered during the summer is moisture retention in conventional tillage situations. We ran some tests this past summer with temperature probes on tilled vs. no-till soils. During the hotter parts of the summer when air temps exceeded 95 degrees, actual soil temps on tilled ground exceeded 110 degrees due to a lack of residue. As a comparison, a hay field adjacent to the site had a soil temp of 78 degrees. What's important to know is that once soil temps exceed 90 degrees, about 90%+ of moisture is lost due to evaporation. So even though you may think you are getting adequate rainfall, it leaves the system very quickly and is not useable by plants.

I know the soil types you are working with because I've seen them a thousand times, so I would just caution you on your current cropping system. I would seriously think about at least going to a longer rotation before any type of tillage is initiated. Just something to think about.
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#3008509 - 10/31/12 05:03 AM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: Quailman]
richmanbarbeque
16 Point


Registered: 07/17/03
Posts: 12774
Loc: Middle, Tn

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This has turned into a very informative thread.
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#3008744 - 10/31/12 08:17 AM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: richmanbarbeque]
Bayou Buck
10 Point


Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 2690
Loc: Spring Hill / Perry Co

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I remember some of the plots on the Kentucky Proving Grounds that Grant Woods is managing was chiseled and he mentioned that if you are in a hard clay area or have a solid hardpan in your plots, he recommends you intiailly break the hardpan and then only no-till. This will allow greater moisture retention due to less compaction and more organic matter. They used a heavy chisel device pulled by a dozer to break the soil over there.
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#3008753 - 10/31/12 08:21 AM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: richmanbarbeque]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
Non-Typical


Registered: 03/11/99
Posts: 64817
Loc: Nashville, TN

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 Originally Posted By: richmanbarbeque
This has turned into a very informative thread.


ABSOLUTELY!

Quailman,

Any further information on this topic would be HIGHLY appreciated.

Currently, we do not plant any summer crops, simply because they cannot survive the hot, dry summers. We current chisel in late fall and broadcast-seed cereal grains (wheat) and annual clovers (crimson and arrowleaf) that will last until early July. Plots are left fallow through the remainder of the summer.

How would we plant in fall without breaking ground? A grain drill will not penetrate the ground's surface.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3008830 - 10/31/12 08:58 AM Re: Ridge top plots [Re: richmanbarbeque]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point


Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 7846
Loc: Atoka, TN

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 Originally Posted By: richmanbarbeque
This has turned into a very informative thread.
x2
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Andy S.

If I had saved all the money I spent on hunting, I'd spend it on hunting.

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