Minimum Till Small Grain

Well, we finally got some good general rains throughout the area and the temperatures may still be hot but football and fall is finally here. That said, most wildlife and livestock producers like to plant small grains -oats and/or wheat, to supplement their grazing or attract wildlife. So every year we wait on a rain, get out the tractor and disk, and plow at least twice to chop up and bury all that trash thats been growing all summer. Then we fertilize and plow again and then we wait on a rain to plant and hope that there is enough moisture to bring up a seed.

Is there another way? Yes! and its called minimum tillage even though its really not minimum till. What I mean is that instead of changing your procedure you change the date. If you will plow and even fertilize P and K in the months of July or early August you will have the field essentially ready to plant. Then when you are ready to plant we can spray an over the top herbicide like Roundup with nitrogen fertilizer to eliminate small weeds and grass that have popped up and then you plant. The seedbed may have a slight crust that a grain drill can easily penetrate. Because you have done your tillage early the rains you get settle the soil and allow for a smooth packed seedbed. The packed seedbed will inhibit weed seedling germination while allowing your small grain to push up through the grain drill row fast. And this Roundup spray is cheaper than plowing!