Name: Mike Ellis (farms with brothers bob and jim)
Location: Eminence, KY.
Number Of Years No-Tilling: 33
No-Tilled Crops: Corn, Wheat, Full-Season Soybeans, Double-Cropped Soybeans
A lot has changed at the Worth and Dee Ellis farm in Eminence, Ky., since 1999 when No-Till Farmer published a story about our operation. We farm more land now.
This year we no-tilled 6,391 acres on 31 farms; we’re farming an additional 1,767 acres on eight more farms than 5 years ago. With double-cropping, our total planted acres total 8,352 acres. We have one less employee and one more person in management now.
After we sold our dairy operation in the summer of 1999, my brother Bob took over half of the crop management chores. We currently have eight full-time and five part-time employees. Brother Jim manages a 4,500 head farrow-to-finish hog operation.
Our farming focus is still on sound no-till practices that help achieve higher wheat, corn and soybean yields, aid soil and water conservation and improve soil health.
Reduced labor and fuel costs are highly important benefits of no-till. Grain prices have not kept up with the 2 to 3 percent annual cost inflation, so the less labor and fuel needed the better. If I had to add plowing and discing to our current work load, it would require much more labor and investment in equipment. We supplement machinery and labor by hiring additional custom drilling, combining and spraying until we have enough…