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Transitioning a No-Till Legacy

Slashing fuel, doubling soil organic matter and retiring with pride were rewards for forging on in fringe no-till country.

I had hoped to raise 50 crops before I retired, but 48 is pretty darn close. 

The timing just seemed right at the end of 2021 to keep pushing for 50 crops on our Canton, Miss., farm. In 2019 we had reduced acres, letting all our rented ground go and just farming what we owned. As summer 2021 progressed, we saw fertilizer prices escalating, crop prices not keeping up with input prices and equipment value being high. It seemed like the perfect time for my brother, Tommy, and me to exit the farming business and enjoy retirement.

What I’m not retiring is my years of knowledge gathered while farming through some of the fastest-advancing technological and agronomical eras of farming. I’m also not going to let someone lay waste to the soil health we’ve spent years building on our farm. Fortunately, we’ve found a young farmer, Cody Parker, to take over farming our ground.

When we retired, we wanted to rent our ground to someone who would continue to no-till, and Cody was a great candidate. We certainly didn’t want to see erosion make a return, and it would be nice to see our established conservation practices continue and maybe even advance.

Check The Specs...

NAME: Danny Murphy

LOCATION: Canton, Miss.

FARM NAME: Murphy Farms

ACRES: 1,500 (owned and rented, prior to retirement); 750 (owned, prior to retirement); zero now (after retirement)

YEARS NO-TILLING: 15

CROPS: Corn, soybeans

ANNUAL PRECIPITATION: 50 inches

PRIMARY SOIL TYPE: Loess silt loam

IRRIGATION: No

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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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