TILLAGE & PLANTING
In the past, the sight and smell of freshly turned earth was considered the very essence
of sound, wholesome farming. But it's a fact that the ancient tradition of tilling, or plowing
the soil prior to planting each spring leads to degradation of farmland, streams and rivers.
Tilling exposes valuable topsoil to wind and rain, resulting in erosion and runoff. Years ago, Haldeman Farms joined thousands of farmers nationwide and turned to conservation tillage, or "no-till." Occasional light tillage is necessary to smooth out rough spots, but we practice
no-till on the vast majority of our acreage. No-till leaves the soil undisturbed and allows the previous crops' surface residue to decompose. With time this organic matter feeds countless
microbes and other organisms that contribute to a healthy, complex underground ecosystem that helps nourish crops. No-till keeps the soil intact and also retains moisture. We plant
right into the surface residue by using equipment that slices the ground open and places
seed at a precise rate and depth. Such "precision planting" results in uniform emergence
and stands, which translate into better yields.