Lee Curby and David Moose.jpg

What I've Learned from No-Tilling: One Bold Move Leads to Decades of No-Till Success

Jumping aggressively into no-till and later cover crops created an efficient, productive system and flexibility for off-farm adventures.


Pictured Above: Lee Curby and David Moose

I’M A BIT of an adventurer. In my 20s I ran triathlons, then I traveled the country as a wind surfer and for the last 15 years I’ve enjoyed getting way off the beaten path with my dirt bike. I’m certainly not afraid to try something different or think outside the box and that’s true in my farming operation, too. In fact, I found diving headlong into no-till to be an adventure all its own.

My father had emergency back surgery in 1985. While he convalesced in the hospital, I was left to plant the crops on my own. Always a man who allowed me to make a lot of decisions and take risks, my father was fully supportive when I brought him the idea of no-tilling everything that year. 

I bought some coulters to put on our International Harvester 400 Cyclo planter and no-tilled every one of our 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans that spring. We never tilled again.

We’ve long benefited from having top-notch no-till and conservation cropping experts in our area. Over the first 10-15 years of no-tilling we worked regularly with Jim Kinsella who had his research farm just 100 miles north of us in Lexington, Ill. Every summer and winter he held conferences that allowed us and others to get hands-on experience with no-till. His mentorship really helped us through the no-till transition.

Check The Specs...

NAME: David Moose

FARM: Moose Farms

LOCATION: Auburn, Ill.

YEARS NO-TILLING:

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Martha mintz new

Martha Mintz

Since 2011, Martha has authored the highly popular “What I’ve Learned About No-Till” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002.


Growing up on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana, Martha is a talented ag writer and photographer who lives with her family in Billings, Montana.

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