MUNNSVILLE, NY – This summer’s intense rainfall events and unlikely tornados in Central New York provided an interesting backdrop for a scheduled no-till crop meeting. The silver lining of moisture is farmers may have more time to attend workshops.

A break in the weather brought 60 farmers together for an Oneida County Cooperative Extension-sponsored field day held at Sam Yoder’s Farm. It was facilitated by Yoder and Agronomy Specialist Jeff Miller, along with an excellent group of seasoned no-till farmers.

Yoder made the decision to implement no-till cropping practices on his family’s dairy farm in 2004, mainly because he didn’t have the labor to till all his fields prior to planting. He shared his experiences in planting corn for silage and grain, hay, soybeans, wheat and cover crops for grazing and advocated for improved soil biology.

No-till field meeting highlights farmer’s experiences

Jeff Miller points out some planter modifications. Photo by Troy Bishopp

He and Miller facilitated in-depth conversations on soil health, soil aggregation, insect and weed pressure observations, seeding rates and the many hands-on management considerations in adapting to the changing weather and field conditions.

The large group then “kicked the tires” on the no-till planters, asked questions and intensively shared their experiences and planter modifications regarding depth control, GPS precision planting technology, row cleaners, closing wheels, down pressure adjustment, fertilizer placement, residue management and the importance of regular maintenance that ensures consistent and reliable planting.

Folks were then free to look at the fields and evaluate the various topics and practices discussed. For a full accounting of the meeting, contact Miller at CCE Oneida at 315.736.3394 ext. 120.

by Troy Bishopp