No-Till - Top Notch Farms Productions primarily no-tills our corn, wheat, and soybeans. No-tilling is a farming practice where the seed is planted with minimal disturbance to the soils. During planting previous crop residue is left intact, by leaving the residue on the fields it help with soil moisture, nutrient levels, organic matter retention, reduces soil erosion, and promotes soil microbial activity. The overall health of the field is greatly increased through no-tilling.
Strip till - Strip till is a form of minimal tillage for corn planting that creates a 6inch wide by 6inch deep furrow and leaves the remainder of the soil and crop residue untouched. By doing this we are able to inject a band of liquid nitrogen into the soil. We then plant corn right over the top of the furrow. This type of minimal tillage has several benefits. It allows us to get the nitrogen directly where the corn plant needs it. With the nitrogen in the ground more of it will get bound up in the soils and plants in return less is evaporated, or washed way. This process is also leaving most of the crop residue in the fields which continues to help with field health.
Chicken Litter -Chicken litter is a major resource that is misunderstood by most people. Chicken litter is a tremendous and very beneficial form of natural fertilizer. By using Chicken Litter Top Notch Farms Productions is able to use less commercial fertilizers which are mostly synthetically made, mined, or are byproducts of gasoline production. Chicken litter has nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, and many other beneficial micro nutrients all of which are required for the plants to grow. Another major benefit is that it helps raise the organic matter further helping the health of the fields. Most of the corn the Top Notch Farms Productions produces goes to chicken producers to make feed. The corn is fed to the chickens they then produces chicken litter which is used as fertilizer to grow more feed. With this closed loop system the byproducts are being used and recycled, if chicken litter was not being used as fertilizer then it would have to be disposed of in landfills.
Wildlife food plots - Every year Top Notch Farms plants several wildlife food plots on its land. Stewardship of the land extends to having a healthy wildlife population. Through these food plots, not only are the intended species benefited but all wildlife in the area benefit. The intended species include deer, turkey, Canadian geese, several duck varieties, dove, and quail.