World Class No Till Producer Gail Fuller Says Failure Was a Part of His No Till and Cover Crop SuccessTue, 27 Feb 2018 21:37:54 CST
Gail Fuller was in his twenties when he first tried the No Till concept on his Kansas farm- things did not go very well and he ended up going back to conventional farm practices. He tells Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays that he really hated the erosion he was seeing on his farm- and that brought him back around to trying No Till again a few years later. This time, there was no going back- and even though it was a bumpy restart- he used that as a jumping off point to becoming a world class no till cover cropping farmer that has seen amazing improvement in his soil and in the crops he is able to produce.
Fuller was a featured speaker at the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Regenerative Agriculture Sessions held on Tuesday of the group's annual meeting in Oklahoma City.
Fuller said a lot of his early failures had to do with his desire to impose his conventional ag farming plan onto his no till efforts. That included growing corn for silage for a local feedlot- and that resulted in little to no residue on the ground, which worked out poorly. He added wheat to his rotation of corn and soybeans- and figured out that he was bringing carbon into his field- and that he then changed his rotation and started adding carbon and residue- and that allowed him to really start growing soil in his fields.
Today, he says "When I started no tilling, the experts of the time told me that in three years, the earthworms would return." He says that he started finding a few earthworms after a few years of no till practices but today the condition of the soil is unbelieveable. "Today when I dig in and get a spade full of soil- if we don't find five or ten earthworms, I start wondering what is wrong- the fresh smell that comes out of the respiration from all the microbes and worms- the life that you smell when you break that soil open is fantastic- it's unbelievable the changes that we have made in a short time."
Hays and Fuller also talk about the benefits of moisture infiltration rates that are tremendous because of No Till, the growing of soil on his farm and what that has meant in the quality of crops that he has been able to grow.
Fuller believes that once you fix the soil- you stop the erosion- we bring the biology in and bring life back to the soil- The water cycle, the carbon cycle even the climate and nutrient density all comes back- but that it all starts with the soil.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear their full conversation about No Till, Soil Health and more.
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