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HIGH-OLEIC SOLUTION. High-oleic soybeans provide market premiums but come with the challenge of limited herbicide tolerance traits. Heavy cereal rye cover crop residue provides extra protection to keep herbicide-resistant weeds from overtaking the high-value crop. Photo: Chuck white


‘Every Year I Will Get Better’: No-Tiller Constantly Embraces Change

Ongoing learning & evaluation of technology, cover crops & other practices advance no-till operation

Every Year I will get better at farming. I will keep what works. I will change what doesn’t work, gladly adopting new technologies or practices if they demonstrate a more efficient or successful path forward

That should be a simple concept, but I think some people stumble over their egos when it comes to change. They have the mindset that accepting change means admitting they’ve been farming the wrong way. My thought is, so what? There’s always a better way to do just about anything. Sometimes I find the better way, sometimes I learn about it from someone else. Either way, I’m happy to adopt and advance to keep the farm resilient.

I farm with my brother, Kevin, and son, Patrick, in Spencer, Iowa. They’re great to collaborate with on farm advancements. Patrick started irrigating some of his acres 3 years ago using a Kifco water reel. It was a relatively affordable way to get into irrigation, but it does require extra time. He’s willing to go out every 12 hours to reset it because the reward is great. He grew 60-bushel corn the first year he farmed those acres. With irrigation, he raised 160-bushel corn. Those results have me interested in irrigation for more of our acres.

We’re willing to learn from each other and from other farmers. After graduating from Iowa State University in 1986 with a master’s in agriculture economics, I worked with several banks and farm management companies. I spent over a decade studying, researching, working…

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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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