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Articles written by mark watson

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No till notes: 'Chadron State College classroom chat'

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Ron Bolze’s students at Chadron State College. Bolze invited me to speak to his farm and ranch management class. I really enjoyed getting back in the classroom to visit with tomorrow’s leaders in agric...

 

No Till Notes: 'Conservation agriculture, part 2'

Last week I introduced you to Rattan Lal, director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University. Lal published an article on his concepts for developing a conservation agricultural system for our farms and ranches. His...

 

No Till Notes: 'Conservation agriculture'

During my conversation with Dr. Dwayne Beck a few weeks ago, Dwayne told me he had a couple of articles he wanted to email me to read about a systems approach to conservation agriculture. I really like the sound of conservation agriculture a lot...

 

No Till Notes: 'Ogallala Aquifer'

I had a nice visit with Dwayne Beck the other day. Many of you are familiar with Beck as he has been a pioneer in no-till crop production in the High Plains. He manages the Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre, S.D., and will be celebrating their...

 

No Till Notes: 'Field Pea Harvest'

Field pea production on our farm this year proved to be interesting, much like all the other crops we’re growing. With all the abundant moisture you would hope this would equate to bumper yields. Other growing factors such as hail, cold spring...

 

No Till Notes: 'Surgery has been put on hold'

My knee replacement surgery has been put on hold. I developed a bacterial lung infection prior to surgery. My doctor put me on antibiotics for a period of five days that lowered my white blood cell count, but not to normal levels. I then took another...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    July 20, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Irrigation Rotation'

During the Panhandle No-till Partnership’s field days, practices on irrigated acres were discussed. The farms we visited have been using the standard irrigated no-till crop rotation of winter wheat, corn, dry edible beans and back to winter wheat....

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    July 13, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Tour of the High Plains Ag Lab'

One of our visits during the Panhandle No-till Partnerships field days included a morning tour of the High Plains Ag Lab located near Gurley. Cody Creech and Karla Jenkins took the time out of their busy schedules to show our group the exciting...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    July 6, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Field Days Thank You'

I would like to thank everyone involved in making last week’s Panhandle No-till Partnership’s field days a success. I would like to especially thank Mark Betson, Mark and Pat Ernest, Bob Gifford and Jack Revelle for hosting these field days on th...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    June 29, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Reminiscing'

I recently attended No Till on the Plain’s Whirlwind field day at Steve Tucker’s farm near Venango, Neb. These are educational field days on all aspects of continuous no till crop production. I was invited to speak on crop rotations on dry land...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    June 22, 2015

No Till Notes: 'PNTP Field Days'

The Panhandle No-till Partnership will host a series of field days Tuesday through Friday this week. These field days will focus on continuous no-till crop production practices on dry land and irrigated acres and integrating livestock into a no till...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    June 15, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Field Pea Disease'

This past week I spent a morning with Dr. Bob Harveson, University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center plant pathologist, touring field pea fields in the Alliance area. Harveson and I were looking for diseases in field peas. He is...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    June 8, 2015

No Till Notes: 'It Works'

I’ve had several no-till producers around the Panhandle comment on how well their fields have taken in the record-setting moisture we received during the month of May. On our farm, we recorded 10.3 inches of precipitation during the month of May....

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    May 26, 2015

No Till Notes: 'NTOP Whirlwind Expo'

I’m sitting here at my desk watching the rain change over to snow in late May. They’re calling for more snow overnight. It has already rained and snowed 5.2 inches of precipitation on our farm this month. The corn we planted three weeks ago has...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    May 18, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Observations, Part 2'

Last week, I discussed how we approach fertilizing our winter wheat crop following field peas in our winter wheat, corn, field pea and then back to winter wheat crop rotation on our continuous no-till dry land acres. We have been using this rotation...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    May 11, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Observations'

We have now planted field peas on all of our dry land fields for a third time in our winter wheat, corn, field pea crop rotation. We have learned quite a bit over this time on growing field peas and what to expect and watch for as this rotation...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    May 4, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Potential, Part 2'

Last week, I took a look at the amount of precipitation we have received to produce a winter wheat crop this year and a projected yield for this year’s crop assuming normal precipitation between now and winter wheat maturation. This week, I’d...

 

No Till Notes: 'Potential'

I sat through two speaker presentations last winter where regional meteorologists gave their predictions for the weather outlook for our area for this growing season. One meteorologist was Brian Bledsoe, who resides in Colorado Springs, Col. Brian ga...

 

No Till Notes: 'Tough conditions'

Over the past few weeks, I have been visiting with numerous producers around the Panhandle.Generally producers call to discuss field pea production but the conversation almost always turns to the condition of the winter wheat crop planted last fall....

 

No Till Notes: 'Thank you'

I want to start off by thanking everyone for their kind prayers and thoughtfulness in helping me and my family as I recover from my surgery. The well wishes and acts of kindness friends and neighbors exhibit during difficult times always impressed...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    April 6, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Field peas and cattle'

There is a developing feed source for the cattle industry here in our region with the introduction of field peas as an alternative feed source for the livestock industry.  The production of field peas across our region has come about as producers...

 

No Till Notes: 'It's More Than No Tillage'

Over the past 40-plus years, many producers have moved from a wheat/fallow production system to an ecofallow system that includes a summer crop, to a continuous no till crop production system. Each system adds intensity with wheat/fallow having a...

 

No Till Notes: 'Stripper head'

Back in October when we were starting to combine our dry land corn crop, I visited with a neighbor about the value of wheat residues and residue height in dry land corn production. My neighbor thought he should purchase a stripper head for combining...

 

No Till Notes: 'Field peas and aging'

Field pea planting is just around the corner so I thought I would share with you my ideas on raising field peas. We’ve been growing field peas on our farm for several years now and I know there are a lot of first time growers or fairly new growers...

 
 By Mark Watson    Community    March 9, 2015

No Till Notes: 'Path to soil health, Part 2'

The path to soil health has many stops along the way to obtaining a live, vibrant and functioning soil. Each of us will find a resting point along this pathway and may settle into a comfortable spot along the way. I think it is very encouraging that...

 

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