Here are some ways you can meet T (tolerable soil loss) on your fields when creating a nutrient management plan in SnapPlus:
Restart the rotation in 2015 and plan forward up to 8 years with tillage and crops you’re willing to implement.
Let your alfalfa stands go grassy. Because older stands of alfalfa often become quite grassy, use the crop “alfalfa grassy three yrs plus” in the 3rd and subsequent years of alfalfa in your rotation. The grass in the stand does improve its ability to control erosion. In all versions of SnapPlus, “alfalfa” means a pure stand of alfalfa with no grass.
Consider putting in contours and contour strips where you can.
Try no-tilling the first crop after alfalfa.
Try one less tillage pass than you would usually use.
Surface apply manure. The solids provide plant residue that can reduce erosion.
No-till your corn-soybean rotations, or stop growing soybeans on fields with low T values (where T is more difficult to meet).
Consider creating pastures on erosion sensitive fields.
Double crop winter rye for forage, then corn silage, and till as little as possible.
Consider adding a cover crop into your rotation. Keep in mind that if using a cover crop requires an additional tillage pass, it may offset the erosion reduction from the cover crop itself.
See attached newsletter for a Wisconsin Nutrient Management Update.