Published on 10/07/14

UGA No-Till Field Day set in Oglethorpe County

Large- and small-scale farmers can learn the latest information about no-till planting at the University of Georgia’s No-Till Field Day, slated for Oct. 23 at Buffalo Creek Straw & Seed Farm inOglethorpe County.

Sponsored by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant, the free field day will begin at 9 a.m. on the farm, located at 654 Stephens Salem Road, near Stephens, Ga. The use of cereal rye as part of a no-till production system will be discussed, as will a newly developed nitrogen prediction tool to help growers refine fertilizer applications.

At one on-farm trial, field day participants will see how UGA researchers are looking at no-till soybean production using a very heavy cereal rye cover crop to help manage weeds.

Many farmers use cover crops or cover crop mixtures, but it is difficult to predict how much nitrogen might be released or immobilized by the cover crops, said Frank Watson, the UGA Extension county coordinator for Wilkes County. Scientists at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have developed a nitrogen prediction tool to anticipate the amount of nitrogen released from cover crops. The tool is being tested on Georgia farms.

In some cases, heavy cereal rye residue can tie up nitrogen. In fact, Oglethorpe County Extension Coordinator Jeff Aaron and UGA Extension Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator Julia Gaskin have used the tool to predict whether the residue will tie up nitrogen at the beginning of the growing season for the following soybean crop.

They’ve also looked at different amounts of poultry litter applied on the cereal rye cover crop and its effect on projected yields. Seeing the results of this on-farm trial should help field day participants better predict nitrogen needs for the crops they grow, Watson said.

For more information on the field day, contact the Oglethorpe County Extension office at (706) 743-8341.

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