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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First, I want to make it clear I know nothing, so keep that in mind when you respond

I've been listening to Gabe Browns 5 principles of soil health. For those of you who are familiar with Brown's lectures, I'd like to hear your thoughts on putting armor on the soil. I'm hearing a lot about Roller Crimpers and No-Till Seed Drills. Is there another way? Do you have a roller-crimper and a no till seed drill? Did you make it or buy it (either the roller or driller) What do you think is the best roller crimper / no-till seed drill combo that is reasonably priced?


FYI, I'm in Northeast CO, Zone 5a, 14 inches of annual rain, planning to raise Pigs, Cattle and chickens in that rank of interest
http://www.renewablefarming.com/images/2015Images/2015PDF/Gabe-Brown.pdf
 

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Interesting. You linked to a pdf. What are you listening to? I looked at youtube and there are a couple of different people/groups who have done videos with him. Does he make any of his own videos?
 

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Never heard of it. Have had row crops and pasture in various properties.

No reason to reinvent the wheel.
 
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Interesting. You linked to a pdf. What are you listening to? I looked at youtube and there are a couple of different people/groups who have done videos with him. Does he make any of his own videos?
SARE Outreach has a lot of Videos on Soil Health.
 

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Never heard of it. Have had row crops and pasture in various properties.

No reason to reinvent the wheel.
Monoculture IS the 'reinvented wheel' and it requires lots of money in fertilizers and herbicides to keep it going. I appreciate your position, I'm just looking for a different farming experience.
 

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Agree that monoculture is not natural. Was not advocating that at all.

Do not assume.
 
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You might want to look at Permaculture.
 

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Agree that monoculture is not natural. Was not advocating that at all.

Do not assume.
My apologies. The term 'Row Crop' conjures up an image of a heavily tilled field of Corn or Wheat in my mind. How does your "Row Crop' differ from that?
 

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That was a few decades ago. :)

I wouldn’t do it again.

For my yard, I prefer xeriscape with native plants.

For Texas pasture, we drilled in bahia.

In Missouri, it is native, plus some fescue and lespadeza.
 

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I'm trying to learn how to no till and add some cover crops into the mix, drought conditions has every thing mixed up. I haven't rolled anything down but have knocked some standing rye down with a harrow, not the way to go from my experience.It's a lot easier to plant into a standing crop. I'm using a sunflower no till drill but would like to have a john deere notill drill, they're more complicated and more expensive but have a better row closing system. I feel cover crops would be beneficial to include and grazing them would add to that benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm trying to learn how to no till and add some cover crops into the mix, drought conditions has every thing mixed up. I haven't rolled anything down but have knocked some standing rye down with a harrow, not the way to go from my experience.It's a lot easier to plant into a standing crop. I'm using a sunflower no till drill but would like to have a john deere notill drill, they're more complicated and more expensive but have a better row closing system. I feel cover crops would be beneficial to include and grazing them would add to that benefit.
I watched a Rodale video where they seeded the field and just as the seeds broke through the soil they rolled the field.
 

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I haven't rolled anything down but have knocked some standing rye down with a harrow, not the way to go from my experience.
Rye has some allelopathic qualities that make it a poor cover crop if it's not killed or tilled in before planting.

You might be better off using Winter Wheat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allelopathy

https://www.bing.com/search?q=alleiopathic+rye&go=Search&qs=n&form=QBRE&scope=web&sp=-1&pq=alleiopathic+rye&sc=0-0&sk=&cvid=64CC8D7C404C408DA925B8F4D8E37558
 

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Rye has some allelopathic qualities that make it a poor cover crop if it's not killed or tilled in before planting.

You might be better off using Winter Wheat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allelopathy

https://www.bing.com/search?q=alleiopathic+rye&go=Search&qs=n&form=QBRE&scope=web&sp=-1&pq=alleiopathic+rye&sc=0-0&sk=&cvid=64CC8D7C404C408DA925B8F4D8E37558
I'll worry about it when it's a problem, I was about 30 days out from burndown when planted. Wheat doesn't have the root depth and low temperature growth that wheat does.
 

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Rye has some allelopathic qualities that make it a poor cover crop if it's not killed or tilled in before planting.

You might be better off using Winter Wheat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allelopathy

https://www.bing.com/search?q=alleiopathic+rye&go=Search&qs=n&form=QBRE&scope=web&sp=-1&pq=alleiopathic+rye&sc=0-0&sk=&cvid=64CC8D7C404C408DA925B8F4D8E37558
It’s turning out to be less of a problem than expected or than it used to be, maybe newer varieties have some of the alleopathicity (?) diluted is the theory.
I finally have my planter almost finished so I can plant bio-strips after azuki beans and wheat this fall. Rows of rye at 10” and 20” from where the corn rows are going next spring with oats, peas and maybe some faba beans or tillage radish all mixed in to the corn zone. Everything but the rye will winter kill so I can striptill my fertilizer in next spring and plant corn then kill off the rye with my preemerge
 

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I watched a Rodale video where they seeded the field and just as the seeds broke through the soil they rolled the field.
A lot of ways of doing things, my biggest concern with rolling would be timing. You have to reach a certain point of maturity before rolling will work.
 

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I've considered adding turnips when spreading fertilizer ahead of winter wheat hoping most would freeze out over winter not a guarantee here. Some sudex added to early planted wheat or rye would add some organic matter but would be a pain pulling cattle when it froze if grazing to avoid nitrate poisoning.
 

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I'll listen to new ideas. But as soon as I hear a lie, I'm done. While arid desert areas spread, as soon as Gabe said that the vast Arizona desert areas was saddle high grass 200 years ago, I was done.
The basis for modern agriculture's improved soil health, higher yields and reduced erosion is no-till. This method includes leaving plant residue on the surface to protect the soil from wind and water erosion. In place of cultivation, that loosens the soil, pulls weeds and opens up the soil to erosion, fast acting and rapid breakdown herbicide is used, saving fuel that was needed during repeated cultivations, reducing soil compaction caused by repeated cultivations.
Gabe calls it Armor, most soil experts call it plant residue.
 

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http://www.americanagriculturist.com/cover-crops/4-essentials-roller-crimping-cover-crops

The purpose of a roller-crimper is to kill the tall cover crop vegetation just before, or at the time of planting. The objective is to avoid burn down and stay in the organic mode--while having all the advantages of no till cropping--that of having protective mulch on the surface.. The latest version of the Rodale approach is a front mounted roller crimper in cereal rye, with a rear mounted no-till planter behind it, all in the same field unit.

With any style of farming method, timing is critical. Hitting the right window for planting and providing enough residue for the planted crop is probably more of a nail biter in organic crimping than with conventional, since a burn down can be timed accordingly, and many times "plant residue", as it is called, is only last year's plant leavings after combining and any annual weeds that have spring-sprouted.. not always a deliberate cover crop.

Around here, in corn stalks, a disc/chisel ripper is used. On soybeans, the combine has shredded last years residue. Both are burned down and then planted when the field is yellow brown. At the present time, little or no cover crops are planted--except for cucumbers/pickles which need the rye organic mass in the fine sand where they are double cropped.

A crimper-roller and no till planter purchase should made based on local conditions, acreage, and horsepower requirements, along with a thorough business plan. At this time, I would not think OP has enough of a plan yet. I would be concerned that only 14 inches of moisture(without irrigation, in a water-controlled state) would support a plan of raising animals with needs for typical monoculture crop products--corn especially. I would certainly look around to see what other farms are doing and what keeps them in business. Maybe spring or winter wheat, grass hay, or low impact beef ranching might be better.

geo
 
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