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Stay out of the coffee shop and 29 other tips to remember if implementing a minimum tillage system this spring


by Susanne J. Brown



There isn't one, simple, perfect answer to the question of how to successfully switch from conventional cropping practices to a ridge-till or no-till system. But the best advice, would be to stay out of the coffee shops, according to six veteran minimum tillage farmers talking to 600 farmers attending the 1994 Innovative Farmers No-Till/Ridge-Till Workshop held in Etobicoke recently.

A long term decision to convert to a reduced tillage system shouldn't be based on the opinions of one year experts who are resting on their laurels, they concluded.

The veteran farm panel, with at least 84 years in combined experience in minimum tillage, consisted of: Don Lobb, a no-till farmer-researcher from central Huron County, Doug Smith, a Thamesville area ridge-till farmer-researcher, Bruce Shillinglaw, a Londesboro no-till farmer, Bob Hart a minimum tillage farmer from the Woodstock area, Jack McGregor a ridge-till farmer from Clinton, and Jack Rigby, a minimum tillage farmer.

Other tips the farm panel suggested to those considering a reduced tillage system were:


Weed control


Machinery hints


Fertilizer & soil needs


Crop management

"Manage corn residue. Either remove it or incorporate it."

And perhaps the best piece of advice from the farm panel: "don't be afraid to try something different. If farmers are going to prosper in the year 2000, they have to be willing to change."

Copyright 1994 REAP Canada

Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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