120501Breen-36-resize.jpg

What I've learned From No-Tilling: Constantly Building On No-Till Success

South Dakota farmers Pat and Chris Breen take no-till practices that work a step farther to maximize the benefits.

Check The Specs...

NAME: Pat Breen

LOCATION: Seneca, S.D.

YEARS NO-TILLING: 25

ACRES: 7,000 acres

CROPS: Corn, soybeans, spring wheat and sunflowers

I’ve had 25 years to refine my no-till system, but I’m nowhere near settling into a comfortable groove. My philosophy is to keep pushing my system to get more yield, use my inputs more efficiently and make life easier for myself and my son, Chris, who farms with me.

Not everyone agrees with the changes I’ve made over the years, but I do what I think is right for my farm.

In fact, when I made a major change to my fertility system I had to get a new agronomist because the one I had just wouldn’t get on board.

I’ve also endured some judgment from the neighbors — especially when I first tried no-till.

‘Plain As Day’

Unlike those that hide their initial no-till experiments on the back 40, my first no-till field was front and center along the highway. I used an old Kinze planter to no-till corn into 12-inch-tall wheat stubble. It didn’t even have trash whippers on it, so you could hardly see that I’d been in the field.

120501Breen-24.png

In fact, some thought I just hadn’t planted. One neighbor drove by the field every day wondering when I was going to get around to it, until about July 4 when the corn started peeking out over the wheat stubble.

While my neighbors thought I’d lost my mind, I came out looking pretty good that…

To view the full article, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital and Premium subscribers. Please purchase a subscription to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives.

Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

Top Articles

Current Issue

NTF_July_0718_198w.jpg

No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings