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Minnesota organic farmer trying to eliminate tillage

A farmer in southeast Minnesota calls eliminating tillage from his organic cropping system an elusive goal.

Eric Kreidermacher of Altura says transitioning to organic no-till is ongoing and extremely difficult.

“I truly believe it can be done, but it’s a little more complicated for us on the organic side mainly because of weed control.  We’ve done some experimenting (and) had some success with putting small grains into corn stubble.  That works when I don’t have any kind of perennial grass from the proceeding year.”

He says that has been less effective recently because of late season perennial grass pressure.

Kreidermacher has begun incorporating cover crops to help manage weeds.

“I could either graze (with livestock) or clip off, and then no-till winter wheat or winter triticale into that stubble.  That would be a cover crop that would actually freeze off (because) there would be more annuals on a perennial cover crop, and the winter wheat would come up in the spring.”

He says frost termination and other natural causes are weed management tools he can utilize in place of tillage.

Brownfield spoke to Kreidermacher at last week’s Land Stewardship Project Roots for our Future program near Plainview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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