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Agronomy

Conservation Tillage in Georgia

There are six purposes for planting a cover crop according to the NRCS Cover Crop Practice Standard (Code 340):No-till corn planted through a mat of rye residue.

  • Reduce erosion from wind and water.
  • Maintain or increase soil health and organic matter content.
  • Improve soil moisture use efficiency.
  • Reduce water quality degradation by utilizing excessive soil nutrients.
  • Suppress weeds, including herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth, and break pest cycles.
  • Minimize soil compaction.

The first three purposes are also included in the No- or Strip-till Residue Management Standard (Code 329). Frequently, Deep Tillage (Code 324) is used with these other two practices in a conservation tillage system.

 Lamar Black, a South Georgia farmer, has implemented a conservation tillage system to accomplish these goals and to control weeds in a cotton, corn and peanut rotation. He Lamar Black standing next to his rye cover crop. He is taller than six feet. built his own roller-crimper to place a standing rye cover crop into a mat that covering the soil surface.

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