Friday, October 9th....about 4:45 pm PDT....1.5 hours before sunset.
Eric Odberg, Genesee, Idaho seeding winter wheat into continuous No-till following garbanzo beans.
Check out the winter wheat and Garbanzo bean residue from years and years of No-till seeding....an ideal soil mulch.
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The Deere 1895 is 30 feet....with 20 inch bands and 10 inch rows. The Mid Row Banders are laying down Exactrix TAPPS.
The application is Exactrix Legacy, 2KC Weigh Master and 2KP TAPPS formulator.
The tongue mounted ammonia tank is 800 gallons and the tractor can pack up to 400 gallons on each side of APP/ATS.
The weight on the tractor is a good idea...to push the load over the top of the steep Palouse hills. This balances the load and keeps the dog wagging the tail….rather than the tail wagging the dog as is often discovered with other single pass hillside set ups….big tractor…little drill….and as Mort always said, “Horsepower is cheap.”
The seed delivery is Ag Pro....individual port metering. A very good metering system….and excellent for Garbanzo.
More Tractor than drill for a reason.
The tractor is the 485 hp twin turbo Case Quad Track.....with plenty of reserve power to climb the steep Palouse hills....straight up and down on the AB line. The weight is up front to allow steep slope climbing. The tractor has 8,000 square inches of floatation.
The application is VR site specific with 4 different rates or zones....and the map is included...
.the Red is 50 pounds N with APP/ATS constant......Red 50.
.the Yellow is 80 pounds N with APP/ATS constant... Yellow 80
.the Green is 100 pounds N with APP/ATS constant......Green 100
the Blue is 120 pounds N with APP/ATS constant…….Blue 120
The tractor was able to hold the ground speed constant as we climbed the steep slopes....as we observed the zone changes based on the N rate.
Dave Barton laid out the yield maps at North Star Guidance and came up with the application map you see.
Back in time about 20 years ago.....these slopes were contour plowed and contour seeded to reduce erosion.....and back in the 60's they were plowed every second year.
The plow ruined about 30% of the field acres…..since the hill tops are down to the clay layer….and yield about half of what they did after WW 2. The clay keeps creeping down the slopes if the tillage continues. And yet you still find the plow in service in the Palouse.
The hilltops cannot store very much moisture so it is an exercise in futility to apply high inputs to low yielding areas in the field. Hauling back manure would not solve the problem….it is over….it is gone…. on 30% of the land, sadly I must report that my granddad had better soil. The bigger tractors and plow ruined it along with commercial fertilizer that masks the loss of production.
Also take note of the application map….since most of Red 50 pound areas have no soil depth at the Clearwater canyon rim since volcanic basalt is located directly under the soil layer…..Very little water storage at the lower elevation Red zone….I would guess about 18 to 24 inches of soil depth at the field margin before the basalt….…low yield and less input required….a 60% savings in nutrient and good chance to actually increase yield by applying less. CRP is below the field margin for a reason….just below the Red Zone is where the lights go out….the party is over and the cultivated land is no longer CRP…the lower field is wild life habitat in Tier 3 CSP.
The overall field average could hit 100 bushels per acre following the Garbanzo rotation if the winter is average and the growing season takes off early in 2010. In 2009 similar fields with VR Exactrix and the same set up averaged 93 bushels per acre at 11.5% protein with Eddy HRWW with four different management zones.
Another big discovery....is Eric now farms 9% fewer acres....and is able to do his bookwork in the tractor cab.....and keep tabs on the drill rather than the mark.
No more going around the hills....straight ahead…climbing up and over the top and down the slopes without a worry of erosion. The diesel engine compounding turbos making easy work of the No-till drill….and the tractor always holding the mark with no spin or slip.
Established No-till farmers can expect powerful advantages with Exactrix Low 1%CV application and TAPPS formulation....which makes VR possible with Zone CV set at 5% to 10%
No other farmland in the world deserves VR site specific more than the Palouse….highly variable soils with various abilities to store moisture….many little fields in one big field. Moisture is always limiting in the winter rainfall pattern. Moisture must be soil stored over the winter exactly where it falls. There is not much chance of rain from July 15 to November 1.
The economic return is pretty hefty with this advanced technology….calculated at $100 more net margin per acre….and $60 to $80 less investment per acre as compared to the old fashioned systems. This is a lot of money for any producer….typically about 12% more net margin is achieved with Exactrix….with out the VR site specific credit and the auto steer credit applying straight ahead on the AB line.
The Clearwater canyon you see in the distance is within a few miles of Spaulding, Idaho where Lewis and Clark reorganized September 20 th of 1805….the experienced mountain men and trappers nearly died in the Bitterroot Range of Montana/ Idaho in a early September snowstorm ….the Terrible Mountains of Idaho…of the Clearwater drainage. Idaho is the Indian Term….for Sun over the Mountains…..if the sun rises and sets over mountains you are in Idaho.
The Nez Perce Indians befriended Corp of Discovery for a few weeks at Spaulding, just below Eric’s farm and nursed the 33 men back to health with a fresh Salmon and Steelhead diet….before they headed down the rest of the Clearwater River to the Snake River, joining the Columbia River and finally arriving at the mouth of the Columbia on the Pacific Ocean….The most western fort ever….Fort Clatsop, Oregon was the end of the line and over winter headquarters. Mountain man John Coulter left the return party at Bismarck in 1806 and he backtracked to the west. He later discovered Yellowstone country, about 300 miles to the east of Eric’s farm. The well documented presidential survey of the western passage was the historical equivalent of going to the moon.
When Lewis and Clark climbed up and out of the river canyon they felt that the area would be good for cattle ranching. The rolling Palouse area could go back to cattle if the erosion is not checked. Just like the Nebraska Sand Hills….rolling slopes are for cows.
One more good reason to No-till farm the steep 50% volcanic soil slopes is high quality soil results with cleaner water…..The No-till system and Exactrix nutrient placement makes for really good fishing with clean rivers for spawning fish…..clean water results with low nitrate and phosphate levels with minimum inputs on the land.
Salmon species such as Sockeye appear to be coming back based on several factors. The Sockeye swim up to 800 miles from the mouth of the Columbia to the top of Idaho at Redfish lake in Sawtooth range.
We need just a few more young farmers just like Eric.
The 2017 Agronomy Review.