• The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • North America Study Tour 2010
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • China-Vietnam study Tour 2013
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • 13 T/Ha wheat crop in England, 2015 Ag Tour
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • Factory tour, China-Vietnam 2013
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • Finding ANZAC relations graves, Ypres Belgium, European Ag Tour 2015
  • Harvesting the 2009 crop
  • Cotton Rondonopolis, Brazil, South America 2016
  • Iguazu Falls, South America, 2016
  • On the Amazon, South America, 2016
  • The late James Crabtree (92) enjoying the fruits of our labour
  • North America Study Tour, 2010
  • Factory tour, China-Vietnam 2013

Search for Sustainability in Dryland Agriculture

Search for Sustainability in Dryland Agriculture

Free e-book now available

Acrobat pdf
Search for Sustainability in Dryland Agriculture book cover
This book on no-tillage agriculture, first published in 2010 and released in 2018 as a digital edition, is for those who would like to know where no-till has been, where it is going and how to do it on your farm.

Whether you are a newcomer to no-till or an experienced practitioner this book has something for you.

‘No-till Bill’ Crabtree has been researching and extending no-tillage for over 25 years and is well respected for his work throughout Australia and the world.
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Search for Sustainability with No Till Bill in Dryland Agriculture 1.6 pdf 0644 01-Apr-2021 08:35 17 MB Preview Download

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Chapter 1: The search for sustainable agriculture

Chapter 2: Background to Australian agriculture
   2.1 Australia is 80% desert
   2.2 Western Australian agriculture is young

Chapter 3: Definitions – what is no-till?

Chapter 4: Adoption of no-till in WA and Australia
   4.1 No-till adoption patterns in WA
   4.2 No-till uptake in other states
   4.3 Knife points take no-till forward in WA
   4.4 World-wide adoption of no-till

Chapter 5: Overview of benefits of no-till
   5.1 Improved farm management efficiencies
   5.2 Fewer banks and drains and more up and back
   5.3 Earthworms become profoundly active

Chapter 6: Weed control is superior with no-till
   6.1 Discs best in some environments for weeds
   6.2 Increasing herbicide resistance weeds makes farmers embrace no-till
   6.3 Trifluralin and no-till – go together like a hand in a glove!
   6.4 Trifluralin still works in stubble and on the seed
   6.5 Harrows encourage ryegrass to germinate
   6.6 Complement with soluble herbicides
   6.7 Soluble herbicides put to the test!
   6.8 No-till made ryegrass control more achievable
   6.9 Changing weed populations
   6.10 South American weed suppression
   6.11 Low dose rates speed resistance

Chapter 7: Time of sowing
   7.1 Earlier sowing means better yields
   7.2 Tillage dries the soil
   7.3 Time is not wasted
   7.4 Moisture is conserved
   7.5 No-till seeders penetrate dry soils
   7.6 Soils soften through time
   7.7 More even paddock soil moisture
   7.8 Surface sealing rarely occurs

Chapter 8: Better plant–water relations
   8.1 The furrow harvesting effect
   8.2 Ground cover limits moisture loss
   8.3 More efficient fertiliser in bands
   8.4 Slower early growth
   8.5 Less early tillering
   8.6 Softer subsoil with no-till

Chapter 9: Greater biological activity
   9.1 Softer soil
   9.2 Increased earthworms indicate more biological activity
   9.3 Free Nitrogen from soil bacteria
   9.4 Arbuscular mycorrhizea (AM)
   9.5 Negative biological activity
   9.6 Suppressive soils

Chapter 10: Increased macro soil biology
   10.1 No-tilled soil is biologically different!
   10.2 Immigratory pests – the ‘r’ strategists
   10.3 Steady state ‘K’ effect
   10.4 Monitoring is useful and educational
   10.5 Use precision insecticide placement
   10.6 Slugs and snails
   10.7 Understanding biological systems

Chapter 11: Type of openers
   11.1 Buffalo #1 and #2
   11.2 Disc openers
   11.3 Knife openers
   11.4 Closer tools with knife openers
   11.5 Depth of opener
   11.6 Dedicated banding seeders
   11.7 Leading coulters

Chapter 12: Seeder set-up for stubble management
   12.1 Modifying existing seeders
   12.2 Residue managers
   12.3 Shape of tine and trash tubes

Chapter 13: Press wheels and harrows
   13.1 Firming the seed zone
   13.2 Loose soil over the firmed seed
   13.3 Shape of press wheel
   13.4 Downward pressure of press wheels
   13.5 Internal pressure of press wheels

Chapter 14: Fertiliser systems and issues.
   14.1 Topdressing fertiliser
   14.2 Apply softer forms of fertiliser
   14.3 More liquid fertilisers
   14.4 Banding fertilisers
   14.5 Ca:Mg ratios
   14.6 Lime movement and no-tillage

Chapter 15: Rotations and cover crops
   15.1 Crop diversity and sustainability
   15.2 Water use intensity
   15.3 Cover crops and sustainability in South America.
   15.4 Cover crops for Australian agriculture

Chapter 16: Some challenges with no-till
   16.1 Slugs, snails, mites, grubs, mice, weevils, beetles and grubs
   16.2 Root lesion nematodes
   16.3 The trace elements
   16.4 Getting through stubble
   16.5 Water-logging
   16.6 Frost management

Chapter 17: The herbicide resistance issue
   17.1 Herbicide resistance becomes common
   17.2 Herbicide resistance in US and Argentina
   17.3 Herbicide resistance in Canada and Brasil
   17.4 Managing resistance with shielded spraying

Chapter 18: When might a full tillage be unavoidable?
   18.1 Rough paddocks
   18.2 Water repellent sands need tillage and clay
   18.3 Naturally occurring soils with severe acidity

Chapter 19: Salinity in Western Australia
   19.1 Result of removing perennials
   19.2 Greater water use needed
   19.3 Deep drains

Chapter 20: Stock and their fit with no-tillage
   20.1 Sheep and light soil
   20.2 Sheep and heavy soil.
   20.3 Sheep remove soil cover

Chapter 21: Economics of no-tillage.
   21.1 Short-term economic paddock comparison
   21.2 Long-term economic benefits

Chapter 22: Where to next?
   22.1 Controlled traffic
   22.2 Variable rate agriculture
   22.3 GPS guidance
   22.4 Wide row technology and shields
   22.5 GM crops

Chapter 23: No-till on the prairies with Scott Day
   23.1 The climate in brief
   23.2 The soils in brief
   23.3 Wildlife on the farm
   23.4 Hogs complemented grain for 45 years
   23.5 Weed concern with no-till
   23.6 An organic experience
   23.7 Sustainable agriculture requires no-till
   23.8 Drawbacks to no-till
   23.9 Evolving no-till system
   23.10 Hoe openers predominate
   23.11 Harvest is a priority
   23.12 The herbicide tolerant and GM canola systems
   23.13 Herbicide resistant weeds
   23.14 Rotational diversity is important
   23.15 Conclusion

Chapter 24: No-till in Southern Brasil with Ademir Calegari

Chapter 25: No-till in Europe with Wolfgang Sturney

Chapter 26: Impact of Australia rejecting GM canola
   26.2 GM canola trial data
   26.3 Problems with TT canola
   26.4 Economic assumptions
   26.5 Dry wheatbelt needs crop diversity
   26.6 Some real GM concerns

Chapter 27: How did I get into no-tillage?

Chapter 28: Crabtree publications
'In the early days, many people associated with no-till, be it farmers, researchers or extension advisors, would hit a problem and conclude "no-till doesn't work" or "doesn't work here". However, it was very refreshing to experience the steely determination of ‘No-till Bill’, who had the attitude of "Well, what is wrong with the system, and how can we get around it to make no-till work better? " Having been involved in many robust group discussions with Bill, I have appreciated his in-depth technical knowledge and widespread hands-on experience, his ability to think outside the square and to take on new challenges to find honest answers. Bill has played an important role as South Australian farmers followed the lead of Western Australian no-till farmers, speaking at field days, providing key information, hosting tours to WA, and generally lifting our vision as to what was possible. I have appreciated his enthusiasm, his humour, and even his musical ability as we have performed songs together about no-till at field days. I'm sure this book will see many no-till enthusiasts studying the information, looking for that gem that might just make things click into place for them—and they won't be disappointed. Bill, you're an ornament to the game!'

Chris McDonough
Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia (PIRSA)

'Bill has produced and written a book I couldn't put down. Farmers, consultants and lovers of the land will find this book a ‘must have’ in their pursuit of sustainable food production via no-till farming. Bill writes in his wonderful punchy manner of getting straight to the point and covers the remarkable history of no-till adoption and adoption around the world and how it was almost always farmer-lead, not researcher-lead. No-till has been a saviour for so many areas of the agricultural world and this book is an excellent tool in spreading this superior method of farming. It is a great read for anyone wanting to get into no-till farming.'

Wayne Smith
Independent Agronomist and fellow no-till pioneer.
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