4 MINDS, 40 TIPS. The panel, starting from left to right, consisted of Jerry Crew, Pat Sheridan, Guy Williams and Russ Zenner.

40 Great No-Tilling Tips To Boost Your Returns

Four National No-Tillage Conference attendees share their keys to success

Not wasting any time, a panel of four no-tillers at this year’s National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis, Mo., rattled off their best tips for success in less than an hour.

Making up the panel were:

  • A no-till purist for 20 years, Jerry Crew no-tills 600 acres of corn and soybeans in Webb, Iowa.
  • Pat Sheridan no-tills 1,700 acres of corn, soybeans, rye and oil seed radish with his father in Fairgrove, Mich.
  • Guy Williams, a no-tiller in Iowa City, Iowa, uses innovative equipment and no-till cropping ideas on 1,400 acres of white corn, corn, soybeans and wheat.
  • Russ Zenner no-tills 3,500 acres of grass seed, barley, oats, canola and corn near Genesee, Idaho.

1 Don’t Jump On Every No-Till Bandwagon

Crew says he’s been no-tilling a long time and cautions no-tillers not to fall into the trap of always trying to find the newest way of doing things.

“All of you should jump on every no-till bandwagon there is and let me know what works,” Crew jokes.

2 Fight Cold, Wet Soils With Drainage

“It takes a lot of BTUs to warm up wet soil. We’ve been grid tiling on our farm for four generations,” Sheridan says. “We’re running 30- to 60-foot tile spacings. Where we don’t have good tile outlets we’ve been using some surface ditches, but they’re not preferred because it’s awful rough on equipment.”

3 Spend Time Adjusting Your No-Till Planter

“We like to double check our seed tubes and make sure there aren’t any cracked…

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