How agriculture works thread

   / How agriculture works thread #431  

ovrszd

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Another trend here is "cover crop". Rye grass, wheat, even turnips. By Spring some of the fields have 8-12" of green cover. Spray to kill the cover, wait until it's dead, then no till plant. USDA is pushing this type of minimal tillage farming. That pressure finds it's way thru the State Conservation Service, down to the local County office and finally to the farmer. Not participating can mean "non compliance". A situation no farmer can survive in.

In my area erosion is a problem. My large farmer friend told me the other day that one of his farms was thrown into "non compliance" because there were 4" deep ditches below a set of terraces. Now he has to add a grass waterway below the terraces to control this. A person must give that considerable thought and have an understanding of varying soil types. In my area 4" ditches are common.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #432  

lman

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They use a lot of radishes for cover crops here.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #433  

ovrszd

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   / How agriculture works thread #434  

Creamer

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Cover crops keep the nutrients held in the soil in areas where there is not a sufficient winter to stop a lot of the movement so it makes sense that they are being pushed. They keep the nutrients in the plant matter and then when it is killed and rots down gives the nutrients to the crop. This keeps them from leeching out of the soil or getting bound into an inaccessible form in the soil. The radishes are crazy looking things that are long and relatively slim but are good at perforating the soil leaving a hole for water absorption when they rot. Roots like the corn roots I have talked earlier find these holes and get quickly through hard pan and into the subsoil where they access both water and nutrients.

Rye is becoming more and more common here because it can be killed without spray once it shoots for head in early spring. A farmer can just roll it down and break it off and it stops growing before it has created heads and provides a lot of plant material to build the soil plus a great cover for soybeans as a lot of it although broken springs back up. By harvest season it has all fallen down though and so it does not go through the combine.

Another option is grazing cover crops where possible to get an extra part of a crop in the same year as a regular crop. Since cattle eat the vegetation and process it and drop most of it on the same ground the nutrients stay there to be used by the next crop. It is funny to see a cow get ahold of a long radish and pull it out and eat it - it is way different than watching them eat grass. They seem to really like the radishes and turnips along with vegetative cover crops.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #436  

ovrszd

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Grazing is highly discouraged here because of soil compaction.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #437  

ptsg

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Cutting and raking hay on very very steep hills in Austria.

 
   / How agriculture works thread #438  

sixdogs

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Cutting and raking hay on very very steep hills in Austria.

Wow, great video. Thank you. If you have to wrk, scenery like that makes it better.

How many cows in a typical operation like that? How many days does the grass have to dry before baling? I ask because no conditioning and just tedding of the crop.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #439  

ptsg

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Wow, great video. Thank you. If you have to wrk, scenery like that makes it better.

How many cows in a typical operation like that? How many days does the grass have to dry before baling? I ask because no conditioning and just tedding of the crop.
Indeed great scenery. Somehow I find that anywhere you look in Austria, you just get some beautiful views.

Unfortunately, I don't know any details on the size of the operation.
 
   / How agriculture works thread #440  

Creamer

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Wow, great video. Thank you. If you have to wrk, scenery like that makes it better.

How many cows in a typical operation like that? How many days does the grass have to dry before baling? I ask because no conditioning and just tedding of the crop.
Not crimping only adds a day or two to the dry time depending on the dampness of the soil and the solar load. I typically lay grass hay down with a sickle bar and bale it on the third day. I have done it in two with the right conditions. Alfalfa about a day longer.
 
 
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