What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Without No-Till, Farming Wouldn't Be As Enjoyable

With a 4,800-acre farming operation, this family’s entire way of life is tied to no-till.

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Name: rodney rulon

Title: partner, rulon enterprises (with uncle, jerry rulon, and cousins, roy and ken rulon)

Location: Arcadia, ind. (farms located in hamilton and tipton counties)

Number Of Years No-Tilling: 14

Acres: 4,800

No-Tilled Crops: Corn and soybeans

No one thing got us into no-till, but every year we find more reasons to stay with it. In the 1970s and early 1980s, our farm management included my father, Doyle, my Uncle Jerry and a cousin, Roy. They had given up the moldboard plow in the 1970s and had switched to a chisel plow system, but were still doing a lot of tillage.

After the death of my father in 1986, Jerry and Roy were left short-handed and began to consider no-till as a labor-saving tool. In 1987 they bought a 14-foot Tye no-till drill and the next spring added a 12-row Kinze no-till corn planter set up with a Rawson three-coulter system. By the time I left to study agricultural systems management at Purdue University in 1990, our no-till system had been established.

Today, our whole way of life is tied to no-till. We’re profiting from many new opportunities that are a result of the time and money that no-till frees up. To be honest, if it wasn’t for no-till, I wouldn’t enjoy farming all that much. We’re doing many more valuable things with our time instead of sitting on a tractor all fall and spring turning the soil over and over, only to watch it…

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Ron Ross

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