No-till and minimum till farming are the most non-invasive forms of planting and harvesting. These practices preserve the natural, beneficial nutrients and insects, which in turn produce healthier bean crops. With no soil erosion, the earths precious nutrients stay right where they are needed – growing the best beans in the Pacific Northwest.
No-till farming is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till farming also decreases erosion and increases the amount of water in the soil. It may also increase the amount and variety of life in and on the soil but may require increased herbicide usage.
Traditional farming uses tilling to remove weeds, mix in soil amendments like fertilizers into the soil, shape soil into rows for crop plants and furrows for irrigation and prepare the ground surface for seeding. This can lead to unfavorable effects, like soil compaction; loss of organic matter; degradation of soil aggregates; death or disruption of soil microbes and other organisms including mycorrhiza, arthropods and earthworms; and soil erosion where topsoil is blown or washed away.
By excluding the use of tillage, this approach avoids these negative consequences retains crop residues and other organic amenities on the soil surface. In addition, any sowing/fertilizing is done with minimal soil disturbance.
Planting in High Residue cover eliminates blowing soil damage to young bean plants after emergence.
Twin rows beginning to outgrow the wheat residue.
The next few photos show the progress of the bean plant growth in this field.
No pre or post emergence herbicides. Herbicide is applied to 100′ of field perimeter due to goat head plant presence.
Bloom time is beginning.
Rapid growth stage. Plant needs for water and nutrients are the greatest during this growth stage.
Windrow for drying by above ground swathing leaves bean plant roots intact holding the soil.
Harvest completed by September leaves ample time to establish fall seeded crop, this one went to alfalfa.
Soil disturbing cultivation not required with No-Till in dense sod.
Above ground cutting reduces soil exposure to wind erosion during and after bean harvest. Previous crop residue of timothy hay sod is still intact protecting soil from erosion after harvest.