Moving From Fertile Farm Ground to Potentially Greener Pastures

Constricted by expensive Shenandoah Valley farmland, long-time no-tiller Anthony Beery relocated, and put his no-till know-how to work, tackling more marginal acres.

Pictured Above: Logan and Anthony Beery

The Shenandoah Valley is to a farming community what Manhattan is to a suburban community. Densely populated, rent is astronomical and buying property requires significant bank roll. Dairy and poultry farms are wedged tightly together surrounded by extremely fertile and productive farm ground producing high-quality feed for those industries

That was my home. Together with my father, Danny, we ran poultry houses and a dairy and raised crops. In the late 1990s, we started our path to no-till when we began to understand and tackle the compaction caused by custom manure applicators using trucks with road tires. 

Solving the compaction problem initially meant bringing out the tillage: a chisel plow in the early years then, as we looked to till less, a zone-till ripper. 

A watershed moment occurred for us when our then extension agent, Chris Lawrence, did a demonstration on our farm by calculating axle loads and showing the ground pressure exerted by road tires vs tractor tires. We walked away thinking if we stopped compacting the soil in the first place, we could get rid of the time and expense we were investing in tillage to fix the problem we kept recreating. 

Check The Specs...

NAME: Anthony Beery

FARM: Beery Farms/p>

LOCATION: Cumberland, Va.


ACRES: 720

CROPS: Corn, soybeans, wheat and orchard grass

As a result, we purchased our own manure spreading equipment — a triple-axle, 6,300-gallon tank with large tires pulled by a 4WD tractor. This reduced our…

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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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