PITTSBORO, N.C. — We’re excited to soon kick off the second year of CFSA’s organic, no-till research project at Lomax Farm, studying how well different cover crop-based, organic no-till systems perform, and the acreage at which each makes sense. If you’re a small- to mid-scale grower who wonders about which organic, no-till method or equipment to use, and whether it makes sense to invest in larger-scale equipment, it is our hope that this research will inform some of your decisions. While our research is not definitive – it covers only one crop and needs another year of data at least – it will hopefully provide a framework for navigating the decision-making process when taking on organic no-till or scaling up.
But, before getting into project results, let’s visit some of the questions that inspired this research. You may have asked yourself many of these questions already:
- What’s the best method to pull off a successful no-till crop: roller-crimper, flail mower, or something else?
- How do production costs and profits compare across different methods and acreages?
- At what acreage should I consider “buying up” and investing in a tractor or walk-behind tractor, and does cover crop termination method matter for acreage?
- How big can I go with different methods before I run out of time?
- How does all of this stack up against the organic industry standard: tilled and bedded with plastic mulch?
Click here to read the complete paper.
—Mark Dempsey, CFSA