Name: Rod Schmidt
Title: Owner and partner with son mike schmidt
Location: Clinton, Iowa
Number Of Years No-Tilling: 12
No-Tilled Crops: Corn and soybeans
Before you develop a no-till plan, you need to define what the term actually means on your farm. It won’t be the same for someone who is located a couple states away or maybe even a couple miles down the road.
Is it no-tilling with one coulter? No coulters? Or several coulters? What level of soil disturbance will be required?
My son, Mike, and I own a no-till ripper, a no-till cultivator and a Phoenix rotary harrow. We’ve also pioneered with strip-tilling, a no-till approved program on our family owned farm near Clinton, Iowa.
At first glance, using this equipment may sound like we’re disturbing the soil a lot. However, our no-till methods reflect sound strategies that combine good soil conservation and profitability for our part of Iowa. What we’ve learned about no-tilling can be valuable to other farmers, but only if they adapt it to their own area and crops.
While I’ve been farming for 25 years, it took a lot of changes to make no-tilling work on our hills. Back in the early 1980s, no-till gained popularity in our area and we tried it, but we didn’t have the herbicides, corn hybrids or the right kind of no-till planters to make it work. Then farm programs dictated conservation plans for highly erodible fields.
As a result…