Furrows on the hill, or which way do I want 'em.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I plowed a couple acres of reclaimed farm land out back. It is on a hill that in about 600 feet rises probably 30 feet. Not steep, but noticable. I plowed so the furrows run up and down the hill to help with drainage. It is a good ohio clay and we get plenty of moisture so that is why I went that way. When I was reading John Seymours book, he suggested plowing so as to keep the moisture from flowing down the hill, basically and east west (as the hill runs north south). Is that for people who really only have a dry climate?
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    You plowed incorrectly. What you did will increase erosion.
     

  3. poppy

    poppy Guest

    Yep, if you happen to get a downpour, your furrows will turn into gullies.
     
  4. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I agree with Agmantoo and Poppy. I only farm flat land,but I remember learning about planting on hills and slopes in school.
     
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Ok, thanks all, would like to hear from others too.

    I have been watching how all the farmers plant here and it doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason to it as far as direction. I worry more about being too wet than to dry and it seems like that that is the way the old furrows ran. It's ok I can cross cut them if I need to, this particular plowing was just to open the field up to some frost heave over the winter.
     
  6. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    maybee if you plant in a curvy way as is rice planted it will help
     
  7. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    If you were to look at it from the top of the hill, the furrows would be concentric circles around the top of the hill - kind of like a target - or like a contour map... I think I'd run over it again now if you can get in there - mine would be a bit wet to try that right now with the snow we just got.
     
  8. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Yeah, I won't be getting in there any time soon with all the snow/moisture back there now.
     
  9. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    Bob - check your PM inbox
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    back at ya!
     
  11. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Exactly right. Water isn't the problem. You get more water all the time. Erosion is the problem. It takes tens of thousands of years to make the soil you can lose in a single season if you don't contour-plough. If you're going to insist on ploughing the soil so it's erodable (not necessarily a bad thing, ploughing) then you MUST do contour-ploughing so any soil that gets moving in water-runoff gets caught by the next furrow downhill.

    If you don't do contour ploughing then you're either ignorant if you didn't know enough to ask the people who knew better, or an ecological vandal deliberately destroying the world the Lord put in your care if you knew better. If you knew how to find out better and didn't bother, then at best you fell somewhere between. What did your local publicly-funded agronomists and soil-scientists say when you spoke to them, anyway?
     
  12. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No mater how you plow a hill, the water is going to run down it. If you plow crossways it runs to where it overflows into the next furrow. After a few run overs it starts to wash out a gully, and you can wind up with some huge wash out running down the hill. If you plow up and down the hill the water runs down the furrows and makes a whole bunch of little washes in each furrow. Either way your topsoil in kissing the field Bye Bye. In the midwest they use sod waterways to stop this. Where ever the water tends to come together and cause gulleys a strip of sod it created in a strip running down the hill where the water naturally runs. This prevents the erosion and still allows the Hill to be farmed crossways so the water naturally runs to the sod waterway. Go to your county FSA office and they can give you the assistance you will need to get this done properly.
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yup grassed waterways are good but I wouldn't have plowed it at all. I would have ripped it (subsoil every 16 feet or so) or chipped it with a heavy set of chain harrows, and direct seed right into the remaining sod or spray it and notill whatever you're planting into the sod. Kind of depends what your planting too.
     
  14. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Would that have taken care of the briar roots that were embedded in the field?
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    My brother Ford Major pointed out its not really all that steep. I'd have still subsoiled it as its clay, but now that you bring up rooted patches you were stuck doing more than min till or no till. You've got to work with what you have too. If you can get a pass over it with some discs before spring it'd stop a lot of erosion
     
  16. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

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    Briar Roots, are natures way of attempting to correct the disturbance that man has caused by disturbing the soil. They are tuff. You can dig them up one at a time if you like, but don't put them down anywhere they will just start to grow again. Now Ohio briars are not as tuff as, say West Virginia or Kentuckey briars, and the briars in Ohio that are found north of I-70 are on the timid side. So you might be able to shout them out. Just go out in the field and shout, "go home briars". Do that a lot of times, it might just work. :sing:
     
  17. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    briars can be nasty to get rid of. a cultivtor can do a number on them if you rip in july and keep it ripped but can also be hard on tires. we have been cutting them back in the sheep pastures and tyhe sheep then keep the regrowth down. subsoiler will rip them out but slow!! a sub soiler with a mole ball would help your sub soil drainage and you could plow cross ways ,however culitvator will do the job while keeping soil in place. will get you pix of sub soiler and mole if interested(have to rip and mole a field with same slope and texture as yours
     
  18. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Several trips with a wick applicator will get the briar permanently. Cheap and only destroys the undesireable. By plowing he has now spred the roots to where there will be more briars, not less
     
  19. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    When I ran my rows on contour, they held too much water and puddled. Now I run them on a slight downhill slope. You ran yours downhill 1 foot every 20 feet. Next time there's a downpour walk around and see what happens. You might discover that the land can handle it. Or maybe not. Make your decision based on what you see happen to the land. If you plan to mulch your rows or to keep your rows cover cropped (which is what we do), that will slow water considerably and the whole thing may be very stable at the slope you have established.
     
  20. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    If erosion is an issue plowing any direction is definately a problem.
    Round Up kills everything that I know of. Spray the field when everything is green and growing, then no-till whatever you are going to plant. The only problem is plowing is fun, lol. I love to watch the sod roll under. Corn stubble is cool to watch roll over too.