Changes Stop Erosion
As fourth-generation cotton farmers from Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Adam and Seth Chappell grew up with the traditional practice of using “lots of tillage” in order to prepare ridged seedbeds for row crops.
Because of the flat topography of their farm, water from furrow irrigation and rainfall tended to stand in the fields. Planting the row crops in the ridges helped the crops “keep their feet dry,” says Adam.
The heavy tillage led to wind and surface erosion of soil, though. “We’d have big gullies in fields,” he says.
The erosion was troublesome to the Chappells, and even before the retirement of their father, Dewayne, the family began a gradual transition to more conserving practices. The first step was to plant a subsequent row crop in the previous crop’s ridges, a practice made possible by precision technology. Thus, the tillage needed to create a new seedbed was eliminated.
With the Chappells’ use of no-till and the planting of cover crops, the resultant improvements in water infiltration into the soil profile have removed the need for ridged seedbeds.
“We’re able to plant on a flat surface because we no longer have water standing in the fields,” says Adam.
Adam Chappell 870/219-6228 Chappell.email@example.com Adam Chappell@cottonplantkid