Logo

Bookmark and Share


032420_YKMV_A6.pdf



shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com March 24, 2020 • Page 6 Salute to Agriculture Farming For Sustainability Understanding Tillage Have you ever seen a vintage photo or illustration of a farmer laboring in the field with an ox-drawn plow? It would take a farmer with one ox about one day to plow a single acre! Fortunately, farm equipment has progressed—as have farming practices. Today’s farmers use a variety of tillage implements and strategies, depending on their specific situation. Brad Ruden, agronomy tech services manager at Agtegra Cooperative says, “Growers are trying to get the most productivity they can out of their soils. It may mean no-till in some areas. It may mean focused tillage or full tillage in others.” Today, farmers most often use implements such as field cultivators, discs or vertical tillage implements. This type of equipment shifts the top layers of the soil but doesn’t disturb the soil structure below. Why till? In the past, tillage was used to bury weeds and create a smooth, black seedbed in preparation for planting. “With our current technologies we can easily plant in a no-till situation,” Ruden says. Tillage plays a significant role in certain areas of the state. While South Dakota farmers have traditionally focused on keeping moisture in the soil, those in the southeastern part of the state can be challenged with too much moisture— especially in years like this one. “Farmers today use tillage to break down the crop residue that’s left in the field from the previous season, and cycle it back into the soil,” Ruden says. “Sometimes residue can be negative because it can keep soils very, very cold in the spring.” Ruden explains that tillage does help dry out the soil, but not without risk. “Tillage would be desirable to help these soils to warm up. But it’s easy to compact soils with heavy equipment, and that’s more likely to happen when soils are wet.” Why no-till? According to Ruden, the most common tillage production practice in South Dakota is no-till. After harvest, farmers simply leave the cornstalks or soybean plants in the field to decompose. This builds the soil’s organic matter and nutrients. No-till also maximizes the soil’s ability to absorb water. “In much of our state, water management really is the critical limiting factor in crop production,” says Ruden. “It’s the fact that we just simply can’t get enough moisture to these plants, regardless of anything else we do, to be able to maximize our yield potential.” Some of the tillage practices of the past actually harmed the soil. “We never really understood soil structure well enough to know what all those aggressive tillage methods like plowing did to our soil structure,” Ruden says. “More recently, we’ve realized that we were creating what we would call a tillage layer in that field, where we were compacting a layer of soil at the bottom of that plow level. So then we would create a very, very dense layer of soil in there. Our crops’ roots simply couldn’t penetrate through that.” Farmers don’t want to restrict root growth. “That’s where the no tillage situation came in. But then we have to manage the things we’re creating as well, like residue,” says Ruden. Why strip-till? Fortunately, tillage isn’t an all-or-nothing farming practice. There’s an entire spectrum of options, including minimum or conservation tillage and focused tillage. “We also do strip-tillage in some areas,” Ruden says. “We apply fertilizer in a very narrow band. And then we’re tilling that band of soil in the fall of the year to allow that Locations in NE: Bloomfield, Hartington, Wayne Four Locations in SD and One in Wyoming American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, American Family Mutual WI 53783 American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison,Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, American 007250 – Family Mutual – 11972454 American Rev. 1/17 ©2017Insurance Company, S.I. &Family InsuranceCompanies, American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 its Operating Company, 6000 007250 – Rev. 1/17 ©2017 – 11972454 American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 007250 – Rev. 1/17 ©2017 – 11972454 Striking a balance Tillage works hand-inhand with other farming practices, such as crop rotation, cover crops and focusing on soil health. Many farmers adjust – According to most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there are 386,531 men working as farmers and ranchers. There are 51,865 women working as farmers and ranchers. – A farmer today grows Family, Friends, Community. Tim Asche, Agent Tim Asche, Tim Asche, Agent Agent Yankton, SD 57078 Tim 57078 Agent Asche, Yankton, SD Yankton, SD 57078 Bus: (605) 260-5560 Tim Asche, Agent Bus: (605) Yankton, 260-5560 Bus: (605) 260-5560SD 57078 tasche@amfam.com tasche@amfam.com Yankton, SD 57078 Certi?edtasche@amfam.com Agency in Agency in (605) ed Bus: Certi?260-5560 Bus: (605) Customer Excellence Agency in260-5560 Certi?tasche@amfam.com ed Customer Excellence American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. & its Operating Companies, 007250 – Rev. 1/17 ©2017 Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 American Family Insurance – 11972454 007250 – Rev. 1/17 ©2017 – 11972454 Roy Wilcox, Agent 200 W 4th St Yankton, SD 57078 Bus: 605-665-7140 www.roywilcox.com We’re all in this together. State Farm® has a long tradition of being there. That’s one reason why I’m proud to support Our Ag Industry!. Get to a better State® State Farm, Bloomington, IL tasche@amfam.com CustomerCerti?ed Agency in Excellence Certi?ed Agency in Customer Excellence Customer Excellence Quality Well Service, LLC Jeremy Promes, Owner Licensed and Certified in SD and NE South Yankton Yankton’s Area Local Well Driller •Farm •Pump •Service •Residential •Sales •Drilling •Municipal Pumps Celebrat in 11 YEA g RS In Busin ess! DEAN RYKEN General Manager 1504 East Hwy 50, Yankton, SD 57078 phone. 605.260.1522 or 866.760.3279 sttr@iw.net / fax. 605.260.1523 stockmenstrailersales.net Gerstner OIL CO. PETROLIUM FUELS AND LUBRICANTS DISTRIBUTOR Farmers Are Fueling Our Future Use Your Own Products Ag Fuels Available Bio Diesel & Ethanol Blends Call: Brandon Frazee, 661-0631 Roland Adam, 661-2235 Call for all your well service needs! these practices from one year to another to maximize sustainability and productivity. “Finding the right balance is part of the art of agriculture,” says Ruden. “And that’s why having that partnership between a grower and an agronomist and finding the right balance of things to do on that farm is so important.” “But I think our growers do it better than anybody in the world,” he adds. “That’s what we’re all about.” If you have questions about farming practices, please contact South Dakota Corn at 605-3340100. ?thisisfarming.org Farm Facts Your Local John Deere Dealer Since 1937 PROUD SUPPORT PROUD PROUDTO SUPPORTTO SUPPORT PROUD PROUD TOFARMERS!FARMERS! TO SUPPORT AREA FARMERS! OURAREA FARMERS! AREA SUPPORT OUR AREA OUR AREA FARMERS! OUR particular soil to be able to warm up in the spring and provide us a nice planting bed.” With strip-till, farmers still realize many of the benefits of no-till. The rest of the field cycles residue and absorbs moisture. Focused tillage is another option. According to Ruden, farmers will till specific areas for weed control when other weed management strategies aren’t working. 402-841-0535 3004 East Highway 50, Yankton, SD Phone: 605-665-5568 • Wats: 1-800-456-0744 twice as much food as his parents did – using less land, energy, water, and fewer emissions. – Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people. In 1960, a farmer fed just 26 people. – To keep up with population growth more food will have to be produced in the next 50 years as the past 10,000 years combined. – U.S. farmers produce about 40 percent of the world’s corn, using only 20 percent of the total area harvested in the world. – According to the USDA, one acre of corn removes about 8 tons of carbon dioxide from the air in a growing season. At180 bushels per acre, corn produces enough oxygen to supply a year’s needs for 131 people.
Shopper Issues
10/20/2020
10/20/2020
Published On
10-20-2020

10/13/2020
10/13/2020
Published On
10-13-2020

10/06/2020
10/06/2020
Published On
10-06-2020

September 29, 2020
September 29, 2020
Published On
09-29-2020

Missouri Valley Shopper
319 Walnut
Yankton, SD 57078
Phone: (605) 665-5884, Fax: (605) 665-0288

©Copyright 2004-2016 Missouri Valley Shopper