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Freeing up time is among the major benefits of no-tilling.
While some no-tillers use the extra time working at off-farm jobs, others are lucky enough to be able to use the time to give back to the community through different agricultural-related organizations.
Stan Smock uses the time no-tilling frees up working off the farm. The droughty soils at his Edinburgh, Ind., farm and low crop prices caused Smock to look for other sources of income.
The no-tiller purchased a used bucket truck 3 years back and started trimming trees and painting commercial buildings and homes.
“Everybody’s doing something,” Smock says.
Some farmers in his area grow specialty crops to make extra money. Tomatoes have been very lucrative. Seed corn has also worked well for many farmers.
One of Smock’s neighbors has a small construction business, one bought a backhoe and another who no-tills seed corn also works in a factory.
Working off the farm takes getting used to. “It takes a whole different mind set from where the farm always took precedence over everything,” Smock says
Smock says scheduling off-farm work has not proven to be a problem. He stops doing paint jobs after mid-April to devote his time to his no-tilling operation. After June 1, he starts painting again.
Last fall, Smock, who no-tills 650 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, left a crop of soybeans sitting in the field to do a paint job.
“A lot of it is…