Cover crops, no-till, and crop diversity can benefit growers in challenging times
A soil management specialist says growers should consider no till, cover crops, and crop diversity during challenging growing seasons.
Sjoerd Duiker, a professor of soil science with Penn State University, says no-till practices can reduce soil erosion and reduce costs, which is critical when facing continued wet conditions.
“No-tillage is economical because you save on not having to do all this tillage. You can also have smaller equipment to farm the same acres or you can take on more acres with the same equipment that you have,” he says. “You won’t need as much horsepower anymore so there are cost savings.”
He says crop diversity could also benefit growers.
“We are so reliant on so very few crops that we are very vulnerable,” he says. “With only relying on corn and soybeans we see it right now with the poor prices suddenly we are devastated.”
And Duiker says cover crops are a good way to improve soil and water.
Brownfield interviewed Duiker during the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio.