What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Beating Rain And Taking No-Till To Pasture

John Kemmeren found that purchasing his own no-till drill allowed him to tackle long-overdue pasture seeding and create a better farm system.

Check The Specs...

NAME: John Kemmeren

FARM: Angelrose Dairy

LOCATION: Bainbridge, N.Y.


ACRES: 740

CROPS: Corn (grain and silage), alfalfa, grass hay and pasture

Corn isn’t king on our farm, even if it is selling for $8 per bushel. I run a 100-cow dairy along with my wife, Dianne, and our two children.

So the crops in our rotation are geared more toward providing high-quality forage for our cows than chasing down big commodity-crop payouts.

Even if we wanted corn to be the majority of our rotation, it just doesn’t make sense in our area. In south-central New York, it’s mostly hills and river valleys. And generally, we have more very wet years than very dry years.

An overabundance of rain can definitely limit our yields and the acres that we’re able to plant to corn. The flat river bottoms flood and can stay wet. And with traditional tillage, our five 30% slope hills, covered with highly erodible soils, will wash like crazy.

Unfortunately, a normal rainfall is a thing of the past here. We no longer get rain — we get rainfall events. There are days we get 5 or 6 inches, and those aren’t isolated instances.

As a result, I’ve seen more erosion in New York this year than I’ve seen in my entire life. I’ve seen conventional fields cut with ditches knee deep in a matter of hours and acres and acres of corn washed away. There’s no amount of tillage that will fix…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives.

Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings