I have returned from the wheat grower's meeting. I could go on and on about storage and rail cars and ships and wheat and more wheat but I'll keep this short at I am spending quality time with my family.
The last presenter was the wheat breeder fellow from OSU. For all you midwestcentric people that would be Oregon State U. He mentioned no-till. OSU has built a no-till drill and they are going to study no-tilling wheat in Oregon. Several farmers spoke up about the difficulty of no-tilling wheat into dry packed fields in Oregon at the end of the summer. Another fellow made an exclamation about no-tilling into 100 bushel wheat straw. I almost made a comment but then I thought a moment, and decided to just keep quiet. No one really wanted to hear from me. Frankly I don't care if they think I'm a smart fellow. They all want to believe that their John Deere no-till drills are the best in the world so screw them. Let them think that. I only need four good customers to make my payment and I've got them. Let them spend $300 per row to get Mr. Green Jeans drills to work. I don't give a rip... So I said nothing.
Here are my thoughts...
After close to a decade of experimentation by regular farmers with no-tilling wheat into fescue fields Oregon State is going to do some tests. This is funny because...The grass seed market is basically dead at this time. If there are no fescue fields to no-till there is not that much point in researching ways to no-till into them. Other rotations are not so difficult as other crops don't require the extreme down pressure to plant.
It would be great if someone came up with some good no-till rotations for our area but it is not really that hard to figure out.
AND-I've successfully no-tilled into fields that a John Deere drill failed in the same conditions the previous year. I have successfully no-till into waist high wheat stubble, triticale stubble, wheat on wheat, wheat into oats, oats into wheat, peas, clover into heavy sweet corn residue, annual ryegrass into solid packed and dry ground. I've planted into mud, through packed irrigation roads, frozen ground, clover fields, alfalfa fields, hillsides, whatever...and most of it worked.
I've got a Great Plains with their turbo-till coulter, followed by their leading edge double disk opener, followed by a spring harrow. It just works. Doesn't look so pretty, it ain't a John Deere, but it works.
The more John Deere failures, the more loyal my customers are so I hope everyone who is going to buy a no-till drill buys a John Deere.
In my humble opinion. Watch me have a huge failure this spring...
Update: After thinking about this for a couple days I think I may have gotten a few details wrong. I know OSU has been involved with some testing with no-till wheat. I am just out of the research loop. I think I just look for negative things to post about...
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