I wish to plant soybeans via no-till on a farm that hasn’t
been in production for three years. What recommendations do
you have for dealing with the standing weeds so that I can
plant through them and I get some post-emergent weed control?
Would it be best just to roll everything down or bush-hog
them? What about light discing?
Thanks for your help
Here is my suggestion based on the information you gave me:
In order to establish soybeans as an organic crop, you will
need to either use tillage to help you manage weeds or use
heavy cover crops of winter annuals that can be rolled and
crimped. The roller technology will only work when used in
a system that has cover crops as part of the design. If there
are weeds on the soil surface as you describe, tillage will
be needed to create an appropriate seed bed to get the crop
started and get you off on the right foot towards a proper
weed management strategy. Even chopping the weeds and then
no-tilling into it probably will not give your soybean seeds
the start they need. I suggest you till the soil for this
season, then, if you’d like to work on an organic no-till
system, concentrate on getting your cover crops established
in late summer or early fall for rolling next year.