No-till beans struggling through drought

A no-till farmer says he’s concerned this season will deter farmers from continuing some conservation practices.

Central Ohio farmer Tim Norris tells Brownfield “I think we need to be careful about making decisions just right on one particular season, and, we’ve all seen no-till beans do a phenomenal job and out-yield conventional beans year in and year out for several years,” he says.

He says the early, prolonged drought in May under no-till conditions likely limited water and nutrient availability for soybeans.

“My no-till beans are really struggling, didn’t get a very good stand, a lot of the beans sat in the soil and never germinated till three weeks later,” he shares.  “The stand’s there, but the beans are extremely small.”

On the other hand, Norris says his soybeans with tillage look better. 

The third-generation farmer says the drought of 1988 had similar results, but no-till beans thrived the following year when moisture was more prevalent.  Norris hopes other growers will stay the course with no-till for the long-term benefits.

Norris was named last year’s Outstanding No-Till Farmer by the Ohio No-Till Council.

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