Does no-till buffer the effects of rising input and equipment prices? If so, how?

Editor’s Note:

The No-Till Roundtable is a department appearing in every edition of Conservation Tillage Guide. For each issue we’ll send out an email asking for your thoughts and opinions on a no-till topic. If you have a topic you’d like to see addressed, please email

A: Yes, by helping to reduce the number of spray jobs (and associated chemicals sprayed). When combined with cover crops (planned in advance for plant selection and providing a chance for income from grazing rental since I don’t have livestock), I think no-till can also mitigate inputs of fertilizer and weed control prior to the next cash crop. Both spray jobs and cover crops will have an expense. Only the covers give you a chance to recoup some of the expense in other ways.

 – Bradley Haynes, Hays, Kans.

A: No. Inputs and equipment costs are higher with no-till. But the soil is healthier. Fuel costs are fractionally lower.

– James Cormany, Columbia City, Ind.

A: Yes, in a big way! Not doing tillage that buries plant residue, allowing it to decompose anaerobically is critical to the regenerative management we have been doing for several decades. Our numbers show we have been saving around $200 on non-land inputs per acre when partnering with nature this way. We are expecting those savings for 2022 to increase by 50%, if not double.

– Rod Sommerfield, Mazeppa, Minn.

A: I would say I'm using less chemicals, but more fertilizer, as yield levels are high…

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