Barry Martin is a farmer from Hawkinsville, Ga. (USDA Hardiness Zone 8) in the upper Coastal Plains. He has been using conservation tillage since 1996 to grow 600 acres of row crops including corn, cotton, peanuts, soybeans and wheat. Here is the to-do list for the farm.
July through August
Scout summer crops for insects, diseases and weeds, and treat if needed. Monitor fields for nematodes. Use irrigation to finish out crops, meaning continue irrigation as needed until the crop is harvested. Once cash crops are harvested, use downtime to service and repair harvest and other equipment such as grain drills and broadcast spreaders used to plant cover crops. Purchase wheat cash crop seed and additional cover crop seed if needed. Harvest corn in August.
September through November
Harvest peanuts, cotton and soybeans. Take soil and nematode samples. If needed, apply dolomitic lime. Spread fertilizer for wheat and cover crop seed patches. Repair pivot tracks and areas where equipment bogged down during the growing season. Plant a rye cover crop and a rye seed patch during or soon after cash crop harvest. In November, plant winter wheat.
December through February
Scout the wheat crop, cover crop and seed patch for insect and weed problems, and treat if necessary. Monitor nitrogen and apply as needed. Service and repair equipment for spring planting. Purchase seed, chemicals and fertilizer for spring planting.
March through May
Terminate cover crops with glyphosate three to four weeks ahead of cash crop planting. Spread fertilizer once the cover crop is terminated. Plant corn in March, cotton in April and May, and peanuts in May. Use irrigation to activate herbicides and germinate seed. Scout the crops for insects, weeds and diseases, and treat if needed.
Plant soybeans in early June. Harvest the rye seed crop. Scout cash crops and treat as needed. Irrigate as needed.
Table of Contents
- Author and Contributor List
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Conservation Tillage Systems
- Chapter 2: Conservation Tillage Systems: History, the Future and Benefits
- Chapter 3: Benefits of Increasing Soil Organic Matter
- Chapter 4: The Calendar: Management Tasks by Season
- Chapter 5: Cover Crop Management
- Chapter 6: In-Row Subsoiling to Disrupt Soil Compaction
- Chapter 7: Cash Crop Selection and Rotation
- Chapter 8: Sod, Grazing and Row-Crop Rotation: Enhancing Conservation Tillage
- Chapter 9: Planting in Cover Crop Residue
- Chapter 10: Soil Fertility Management
- Chapter 11: Weed Management and Herbicide Resistance
- Chapter 12: Plant-Parasitic Nematode Management
- Chapter 13: Insect Pest Management
- Chapter 14: Water Management
- Chapter 15: Conservation Economics: Budgeting, Cover Crops and Government Programs
- Chapter 16: Biofuel Feedstock Production: Crop Residues and Dedicated Bioenergy Crops
- Chapter 17: Tennessee Valley and Sandstone Plateau Region Case Studies
- Chapter 18: Southern Coastal Plain and Atlantic Coast Flatwoods Case Studies
- Cash Crop Selection and Crop Rotations
- Specific Management Considerations
- Case Study Farms
- Producer Experiences
- Transition to No-Till
- Changes in Natural Resources
- Changes in Agricultural Production
- Specialty Crops
- Why Change to No-Till?
- Supporting Technologies and Practices
- The Future
- Research Case Study
- Chapter 19: Alabama and Mississippi Blackland Prairie Case Studies
- Chapter 20: Southern Piedmont Case Studies