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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: In Search Of No-Till Planting Perfection: For Himself And Others

Years of onfarm experimentation have made no-tiller Bill Lehmkuhl a pro at drawing out prime planter performance.

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NAME: Bill Lehmkuhl

LOCATION: Minster, Ohio

YEARS NO-TILLING: 32

ACRES: 1,300 acres

CROPS: Corn, soybeans and wheat

No-tilling for 32 years doesn’t mean I know it all. Over the years, I’ve come up against many new no-till challenges I’ve had to solve. Some were easier to spot than others. Some I stumbled across by accident.

My father started no-tilling in 1978. He put out a 13-acre no-till corn plot in collaboration with the Extension office — the first in Auglaize County. After 1 year, we were hooked.

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By 1986, I took over the farm, and by 1994, I was branching out to offer agricultural consulting for area farmers. That, in turn, led me to many planter experiments, no-till discoveries and digging deeper into how to make no-till work better for myself and my customers.

With the knowledge I’ve built over the years, I’m often called upon to help order new planters, maintain and adjust planters for planting season and identify and recommend solutions for various field problems. The following are some of the planter and management tricks I’ve learned along the way.

Clear The Path

I’ve been my own guinea pig many times when figuring out the best planter setups. One year, we tested eight different attachments on our 12-row Kinze planter, all at the same time — different row cleaners, closing wheels, you name it. Each row was different.

In my experience, the one thing that is a ‘must’ — no matter if you no-till, minimum-till…

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Bill Lehmkuhl

Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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