PRE-DIG SEEDING. Doug Newton of Clio, S.C., would broadcast cover crops ahead of digging peanuts. The cover crops are already sprouted by the time the peanuts dry down and are harvested. The head start is great for the cover crops and gets a few hundred acres of cover crop planting done before the hustle of harvest. Photo: Doug Newton

No-Tilling & Cover Cropping Every Acre Every Year

No-tiller retires early from farming, thanks to time & cost savings from conservation practices, and finds enjoyable second career teaching others about the methods.

By Doug Newton

As interviewed by Martha Mintz

Retiring from farming isn’t always voluntary. Sometimes you’ve got to keep farming because you’re not profitable enough. Sometimes you’re forced into early retirement for the exact same reason. That certainly wasn’t the case for Margaret Ann and me. We retired from farming 2 years ago entirely on our own conditions. We were ready to cut back on work and spend more time with our 10-year-old daughter, Lillie. She loves the farm and our chickens!

The circumstances around our ability to retire were created by the choices we made concerning how we farmed. No-till, cover crops and irrigation, among other strategies, helped us be profitable year after year. I developed quite a passion for cover crops over the years. I watched cover crops do amazing things on my farm and on surrounding farms. I find cover crops so fascinating and beneficial that I’m now quite happily working away in retirement as a cover crop consultant for Scout Seed Company.

This gig has given me an opportunity to share the knowledge (and photos) I amassed during my farming career and interact with so many other farmers. Before I worked as a cover crop consultant, I could barely turn my phone on. Now I’m having the most fun doing the Facebook and Instagram (ScoutDougSC) thing. I’d been taking photographs and videos for 5 years with no real purpose. Now I’m able to share them while also helping other farmers. I even have a blog —…

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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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