Using a roller-crimper for no-till organic soybeans


music music Hi, I’m Erin Silva, organic
production scientist in the department of agronomy at UW Madison. Today were out in an organic no-till field,
and this field is going to be planted with the organic no-till
technique using the roller crimper. Here you see the standing rye. This
rye was planted in the fall around mid-september at a rate of about
four bushel per acre. We let this rye come through the winter.
Last winter, in 2012-2013, was a little bit hard on
the crop with the freeze-thaw events, but typically the rye comes through very well. The rye was a little bit delayed this
year as well, with their cooler spring So now it’s early part June before
we’re able to get out to the field to terminate the rye. We are looking for a very specific
stage of the rye before we go through with the roller crimper for termination. What we’re
looking for is for the anthers to be coming off of the rye head, so the rye is in anthesis. By waiting till this stage we ensure
that the ride will be effectively terminated and won’t remain growing in competing
with our cash crop, in this field which will be soybean.
The roller crimper designed by the Rodale Institute is a large cylindrical piece of equipment that is mounted on
the rear part of a tractor with a triple hitch. It goes and rolls the rye crop perpendicular to the direction of
planting. So me lay the rye crop down, and it
creates a nice thick mat on the soil surface. The roller crimper terminates the rye
two different modes of action. It roles the rye down, but it also with its
Chevron blades, actually crimps the rye stalks. And through that crimp action, will
ensure that the rye stays down on the ground and creates
dead straw mat throughout the production season. Here at UW what we do, is we
come through and roll the rye with the roller crimper and then follow that with a no-till planter. We either use a no-till corn planter and
plant on 30 inch rows, or no till grain drill. Either one of
those has worked fine. A key aspect though is to set the drill at
a little bit deeper depth to ensure that the seed
is able to penetrate through the mat and get into the ground. We plant the soybean at a rate of
200,000 seeds per acre and that soybean will come right
through that mulch and grow and produce a nice
crop. Generally we’ve been getting about forty to
fifty bushels an acre off of that soybean crop. To get more information about this technique, you can contact me visit my website at
http://uworganic.wisc.edu our contact your local county extension
agent. music music

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