What I've Learned From No-Tilling: After Three Decades Of No-Tilling, There's Still More To Learn

Never stop looking to improve your fields, your cropsand your profits, says one of the early adopters of no-tilling.

Check The Specs...

Name: Paul Schaffert (No-till farmer, founder and CEO, Schaffert Mfg. Company)

Location: Indianola, Neb.

Years Of No-Tilling: 34

Acres: 2,000

No-Tilled Crops: Corn, soybeans, sunflowers, wheat, grain sorghum

When I first gave no-till a serious look in 1972, we were lucky to harvest 60 bushels of corn per acre in southwestern Nebraska. I couldn’t have dreamed then that we would be setting ambitious but realistic yield goals of 250-bushel corn and near 100-bushel soybeans and wheat for 2006.
We know these goals are achievable today thanks to the constant search for new solutions in equipment design, biogenetics, nutrient placement and water management that we’ve seen during the past 35 years. I’m proud to have been a serious participant in some of those efforts.
Last year we came close to our goal, with one field of irrigated corn hitting 248 bushels per acre. What a change in 30 years. In a typical mid-1970s rotation, we would plant corn or grain sorghum in mid-May into clean, terraced fields that had been summer fallowed the year before. It wasn’t uncommon for a 4- or 5-inch rain to fill the terraces and flood out the crop shortly after emergence. Often it was the latter part of June before we could get back in to replant, which smacked yield potential in the head.   
About that time, my dad visited the University of Nebraska farm at North Platte, where they were researching eco-fallow. With eco-fallow, growers leave wheat stubble untilled or disc it…
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.

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