No-Till Experts Share Their Best Ideas

NNTC speakers say cover crops, precision ag technology can help growers squeeze more profit out of every acre

In Janurary I attended the 19th annual National No-Tillage Conference (NNTC) in Cincinnati with more than 800 new and veteran no-till professionals.

The tips and information from the speakers, and the networking opportunities, allowed fellow no-tillers to review their management practices and decide if the new ideas and perspectives they were hearing could be adopted on their farms.

While I led a classroom session on some of the technologies available to no-tillers today, I spent the rest of the conference trying to identify some practices that might work for my farm.

I was intrigued the most by sessions on cover crops and precision technology. I learned things in both of these sessions that I could incorporate into my farm and research in an effort to improve soil organic matter, nutrient-use efficiency and farm profitability.

Building Healthy Soils

 Jim Hoorman from Ohio State University, and Ray Weil from the University of Maryland, provided lots of valuable information on improving soil quality by planting cover crops.

Additionally, Randall Reeder, Alan Sundermeier and Rafiq Islam, all from Ohio State University, shared how continuous no-till can improve soil quality.

The combination of healthy soils and cover crops build soil organic matter and residue.

Working together, they can hold an additional $75 to $100 per acre of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that would normally be lost, the educators said.

They also described how incorporating cover crops can improve your soil’s water-holding capacity.

With increased moisture levels and nutrients available later in the growing season, crops…

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Leverich jim

Jim Leverich

No-Till Farmer's Conservation Ag Operator Fellow for 2022, Jim Leverich is a no-till farmer near Sparta, Wis. His 1,000 acre-farm has been in his family since 1864 and no-tilled since 1984. An innovator and educator, Leverich has 35-plus years of no-till and on-farm research experience, and possesses a deep, practical understanding of what makes no-till work. For his contributions while at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Leverich was named the No-Till Innovator of the Year (Research & Education category) in 2006. A talented presenter and writer, Leverich was a regular guest columnist for No-Till Farmer in 2011 when it earned the Gold Medal as the nation’s top newsletter from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

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