Last evening I read more about the process using the roller. There does seem to be a catch that wouldn't suit many farmers.
The roller isn't used on weeds but is meant to be used on a fall planted annual plant that is used as a cover crop. Wheat was one mentioned.
For success the annual plant must be allowed to reach the maturity point of setting seed, but then be rolled before the seed becomes viable. That could or rather would mean very late planting dates for the crop you are wanting to plant on the rolled land. Allowing a crop to reach NEAR maturity would also sap a tremendous amount of moisture from the soil so that there would be less for the next crop. Granted the rolled cover crop mulch would in essence gain a lot of that back as saving the moisture that did fall.
To plant field corn into a cover crop in Kansas might mean that the corn planting would be delayed from April 1st or a couple of weeks after until the wheat is near maturity the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd week of June depending upon the year. This year it would have been early July since the crops were very late due to the late freeze.
Great idea, but not sure that it would work at all in my area. I can see killing the cover crop with herbicide, rolling it to lay it down into a better mulch, then planting into it in a timely manner.
Plant corn/bean rotation for ten years using this method, compare to concrete. Major soil compaction. Lots of green manure on top doesnt transfer as many nutrients to the soil, especially if the soil is compacted.
Many farmers in the midwest have done this with hay cover crops on new fields. They pulled the roller instead of pushed.
Wow, look at the skeptics! That is why they are doing RESEARCH, which means trying to figure out what works AND what doesn't. They are not going to promote a method that doesn't work. Thats why the RESEARCH is so cool, because they are taking the risks that everyone else is not able or willing to take. What do you call those folks who instantly shoot down anything new, oh yeah, luddites...
Farming row crops is diferent in every instance . What works in one area will not work in another. That is why thier is many diferent kinds of farming equipment. Yes you can use the methioud for a couple of years and then you find that your crops would be less productive. To get the best production you must break the soil and get the nutritions down to wheir the roots are.
Matthew Lindsay You call theise people the ones that tried and fail to get any results. I have tried this and it didn't work in my area at all.
Instead of using it as a cultivator product I would want to strip till the wheat stubble into worked strips about 6 inches wide to accommodate the planter units. Rolling the stubble to flatten it to provide better mulching would be a plus. The taller the wheat variety the better.
Also rolling out a large round bale of straw then strip tilling into it should be great mulch. Expect a person would need to roll the bale out one year, till the strip, then plant into it after what was worked in had a chance to compost. Easier than mulching after the crop is planted and growing unless one has the proper equipment.
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