Extend Your Cropping Boundaries

With no heavy tillage equipment to move, this father and son are cropping land 210 miles away from their home base.

When his son returned to the farm in 1998 after college, John Gough knew they needed to add more acres. Yet the veteran no-tiller and strip-tiller from Deckerville, Mich., didn’t want to get into a competitive land-bidding war with local growers.

Instead, Gough and his son, Andy, looked at other areas of Michigan to find more ground for raising corn, soybeans and wheat. Today, their home-based Deckerville operation stretches 40 miles west to Fairgrove and 210 miles northwest to Posen. Different growing seasons allow them to farm more land while spreading the workload and weather risk.

At Deckerville, they raise 2,100 acres of corn and soybeans, along with 75 acres of wheat. At Fairgrove, there are 975 acres of corn and soybeans. And at Posen, they grow 1,700 acres of soybeans and wheat.

Seeking New Ground.

“When Andy came back to the farm, we started looking for land farther away from home,” Gough says. “We started with an additional 700 acres and it’s just inched up from that. Then we found several parcels of land up at Posen and we’ve continued to add acres in that area.

“We placed an ad in the local newspaper, went around to a few retired dairy farmers and several rented land to us. Word of mouth got us some more land, and now we’ve bought a few parcels of land up north.”

It’s a 420-mile round trip between Deckerville and Posen with their 30-foot John Deere 1890 air seeder with a tow-behind 1910 air…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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