TIMELY SPRAYING LIKELY. With their own self-propelled sprayer, Aaron (left) and Sam Swinford are able make timely applications when needed rather than waiting for an appointment with a custom applicator.#

Time Savings Allow for Speciality Crops

High-starch corn and Roundup Ready soybean seed are two crops made possible because no-tilling gives Sam Swinford the time needed for these niche markets.

Check The Specs...

Name: Sam Swinford

Location: Flat Rock, Ind. (Manages Swinford’s Noble Acres Inc. with son Aaron)

Years Of No-Tilling: 18 (15 in continuous no-till)

Acres No-Tilled: 1,950

No-Tilled Crops: Corn, soybeansy

We made our initial commitment to continuous no-tilling during the early years of Roundup Ready soybean development. We had gained experience with no-tilling double-cropped soybeans into wheat stubble, but we weren’t totally impressed. We found that heavy residue from the wheat crop tied up nitrogen and was costing us fertilizer dollars. We were also experimenting with no-tilling soybeans into corn stubble, which was getting easier with new narrow-row equipment.

When Roundup Ready soybeans were introduced into our area in 1995, we were among the first growers to switch over in a big way, ordering a whole semi-load of seed the first year.

About then we also tried no-tilling corn into soybean stubble and quit raising wheat altogether. We were seeing that no-till in our heavy clay soils was the way to prevent crusting while improving germination and uniform stands. We haven’t tilled our heavy clay soils since then.

Today, my son Aaron and I manage 1,950 acres of continuous no-till, about one-third in specialty crop production, including Roundup Ready soybean seed and high-amylose corn, with the remaining crops in commodity corn and soybeans. We feel the one-third/two-thirds ratio is about right if you are going to give specialty crops the extra attention they need to pay off.

Aaron was eager to get started with the shift to…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Ross ron

Ron Ross

Ron Ross pioneered the “What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002. He authored more than 100 of these articles.

A graduate of South Dakota State University’s agricultural journalism program, Ross spent most of his career as a writer and 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.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings