No-till has become a standard management practice across Ohio, improving yields, crop performance and providing a variety of benefits for farmers, the land and environment. By not disturbing the soil and leaving behind crop residue, no-till offers minimal, if any soil erosion, a basis for water retention and improved soil tilth. However, for those Ohio farmers who have embraced no-till, the challenge comes each spring when planters must accurately place seed in the ground over the previous year’s crop residue.
Regardless of what the farmer does in the fall to break down the residue, corn stalks will not decay fast enough and are not fully dissolved or completely broken down. This provides several problems that must be addressed prior to spring planting. One concern centers on the potential damage crop residue creates for planters and other equipment. Residue can produce major wear and tear on planters. Gauge wheels, for example, can be placed under extreme pressure. As a result, poor planter performance can impact potential yields.
To address the challenge, Sunrise has introduced a solution – PCT | Sunrise BioBuild Digester – that includes biologicals to take on the task of breaking down crop residue. Applied in the fall after harvest, two dozen or so microorganisms within the Digester speed up the decomposition of crop residue, making it easy for farmers to plant in no-till environments without equipment damage and needless breakdowns that cost money, time and headaches.
According to Sunrise Agronomy Solutions Advisor and PCT Northern Sales Lead, Vince Willman, a Sunrise customer who farms around Attica, Ohio, started using Digester in the fall of 2016. Planting in decomposed stalks resulted in less damage to gauge wheels, less hairpinning and overall planting problems. Moreover, the farmer did not require completing supplemental tillage thus saving time and money. The ultimate value from applying PCT | Sunrise BioBuild Digester in the fall was a six to 16 bushel increase over the previous year’s crop.