[Market-farming] tillage and cultivation tools for clay soils

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Wed Feb 13 11:16:24 EST 2013


Thanks for bringing him up.  He uses tillage radish, which is one of the seed types I forgot to mention.

We are currently staying away from corn because its a nutrient hog.  Though we are doing a test planting of sun flowers with the hope of mechanically harvesting the seed.

Our rotation, we hope, will be on a three plot basis for the time being with the hopes that we expand it five 2.5 acre plots specifically for food production.  We may not be  able to shoe horn in that many grain crops into a small area, but we'll see.

The goal is to have a cash crop during the summer of black turtle beans, sunflower, and heirloom corn.  All mechanically harvested and zero spray.  The rotation non cash crops are going to be, mainly winter wheat (green manure tilled in) followed by buckwheat, and then a tillage radish (all in a single year).

I'd like to go in and cyclone in clover when the corn is about 4" high, but I need to see a cost vs return study given the cost of clover seed, especially when I have a boarding operation that turns out pretty darn good compost in the hundreds of tons.  If you do the tillage radish right you can plant your corn directly into the rows of radish and make the best of the concentrated nutrients left behind by the rotting root.

Lots of good stuff going on and as much as I hate to say it, a lot of it is coming from some of the conventional guys who are seeing the writing on the wall.  More conventional guys means lower seed costs for untreated seeds like tillage radish.

Our costs for bushel for conventional corn is maybe .75 in part because 

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com

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