Transcript/Biography

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"We've gone to ridge till. It is more of a no-till and it starts at the harvest time and we try to really get the corn head to do the best job that it can of chewing up those stalks. And then we try to come back with a shredder and follow those same exact corn rows and shred that crop, the residue up. And then we come back and we follow those same ridges. That allows that tractor to follow that same path to fertilize. So we're just fertilizing just the area that that plant, that corn plant is going to use. And then we come back and follow that with the planter and trying to stay on those same exact rows each time. It cuts down on compaction, on certain rows but you're holding compaction to just certain rows then. We like the system and it's allowed a lot more efficiency with the planters as well as with all the machines just due to that repeatability of those same rows."
     [Question:] "Yeah, and so you're actually trying to plant into the same place that it was planted last year."
     "Yes, and we're doing it with the ridges and having to build that ridge, that is our guidance system at this point."
     [Question:] "So you're cultivating not just to get rid of weeds. You're cultivating to build that ridge."
     "Well, it does both. You are trying to get that – With that late cultivation, like we're doing, the corn is about knee-high when we're doing this operation, you know, at that point you've pretty well shaded that ground. So the chances of more weeds coming in are pretty minimal. And so you try and get that ridge put in there for your guidance, for your weed control, as well as – if you have any gravity irrigation where you're going to, the water is going to follow that row – you need to build that ridge for that reason. As well as, it gives a place for that combine to run and to follow so that the corn head can go down [lower] if it has to pick up some down corn that's following some rows."
     [Question:] "OK. And the advantage of no-till system is?"
     "Soil conservation, moisture conservation, fuel conservation, efficiencies."

Mark Kaliff – Conservation Tillage

   

Excerpts from Mark & Valerie’s Interview:

Farms Growing Bigger
The Bust of the 80s
Government Subsidies
Women on the Farm
Rural Lifestyles Today
Mysteries in the Country
Growing Monocultures
Efficiencies with Pivots
Mining Groundwater
Farm Equipment Innovation
Tractor Technology
Computers on the Farm