>I've been wanting to get into this discussion since the beginning but
>have been irrigating day and night as well as managing 6 employees to
>get the veggies harvested so computer time has dwindled recently.
>I no-till for 3 reasons: Increase profits, save soil and reduce
>pesticides. This is done successfully by using cover crops, intensive
>crop rotation, and long-term no-tillage. I can't say enough how cover
>crops are the key to make this system work.
>In the last 10 years on our farm:
>Soil erosion has been cut from 14 tons per acre to almost nothing.
>OM has gone from 2.7% to 4%
>Herbicide use for corn and beans has dropped from $25 bucks/A to$18/A (I
>quit using insecticides on corn unless rescue treatment is necessary.)
>Total pesticide use on tomatoes has dropped from $200/A to $75/A
>Beneficial insects have increased
>Soil aggregate stability in fields tilled recently (less than 10 years)
>is 16% and fields that have not been tilled for over 10 years is 67%
>Water infiltration has increased.
>Soil microbial biomass has tripled.
>Yields have increased 10%
>Total pesticide usage on the whole farm has decreased 50%
>If your interested in more info on this, look up our website:
>http://www.cedarmeadowfarm.com Also, Janet mentioned the video I made
>on "No-till Vegetables". Info for that is on the website.
>I know some organic farmers who are no-tilling tomatoes. I think it can
>be done on a small scale.
>As Steve Diver mentioned, soil erosion is the most detrimental aspect of
>agriculture. We can't turn our backs on soil erosion and call ourselves
>sustainable! SOIL WAS MEANT TO BE COVERED! No-till has some very
>attractive "sustainable" attributes especially when combined with cover
>Let's not debate "no-till vs. organic", but rather discuss the positive
>benefits from each system and how they can be integrated with one
>another. This is what sustainable agriculture is all about!
>"New Generation Cropping Systems": the cutting edge of sustainable
>Cedar Meadow Farm
>679 Hilldale Rd
>Holtwood PA 17532 USA
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