TOUGH TIMES, TOUGH DECISIONS. To prevent his farm in Burkittsville, Md., from going bankrupt, Joe Hottel began searching for innovative ways to save money and boost yields. It workedâ??even though 1999 pre­sented the worst drought his part of the country had seen in 70 years.

35 Easy Ways To $ave Money!

In these tough times, we could all use some ideas to help save money.

The hall was buzzing at the recent eighth annual National No-Tillage Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. It was here that 715 no-tillers gathered to exchange ideas and learn new ways to boost their yields and add bushels of income per acre. This year’s crowd certainly wasn’t let down as they absorbed new ideas that can be put to immediate use. Here are some of the best.

Dean Fehl 

La Porte City, Iowa

1. Use New Technologies

Yield Monitors: Not embracing this technology can cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue when yield data and maps are not available to evaluate different varieties, drainage, fertility and insect problems. Yield maps are also a very powerful negotiating tool when renting land!

GMOs: Reduced costs for some genetically modified organisms (GMO) seed should make for very inexpensive insect and weed control. Couple the reduced cost of seed and herbicide for some great savings!

2. Eliminate Deep Tillage

Deep tillage has been recommended when bringing conventionally tilled fields into a no-till environment. Multi-year trials on my farm on corn following soybeans or soybeans following corn have not shown any yield advantage either the first or second year following deep tillage.

3. Reduce No-Till Planter Speed

Reduce ground speed during no-till corn planting. You’ll get significant improvement in uniformity of planting depth and spacing when seeding at 4 1/2 mph.

4. Cut Soybean Population

Reducing population from 220,000 to 180,000 seeds per acre since trading from a no-till drill to a 15-inch row no-till planter…

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