What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Conservation: Not Just A Means To An End

Early no-till adopter Jerry Peery says he has a ‘moral obligation’ to protect and build soils on his Kentucky farm for future farming generations.

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NAME: Jerry Peery

FARM: Springhill Farms

LOCATION: Clinton, Ky.


ACRES: 1,600

CROPS: Corn, Soybeans, Cereal Rye

The way our land erodes, there’s no way we’d be in business today if we were still farming the way we did 50 years ago.

A combination of no-till and many other conservation efforts means that not only is our family still farming today, but also we’ll hopefully be able to successfully farm for generations to come.

Our farm sits in the far western tip of Kentucky, where the hills are rolling but not overly steep. Grades vary from 3% to 9% and our fields range from 30 to 100 acres in size.

Our district conservationist has described our fields as highly productive and highly erodible. Is that ever the truth! We are continuously striving to keep those hills in place.

Even with no-till, we’ve found that ditches are going to wash in certain areas. We decided it was better to have a good waterway to cross than a ditch, so we’ve committed 6% of our farm to the Conservation Reserve Program and constructed permanent waterways and border strips.

We plan to build even more, as they’re absolutely essential to help stop erosion.

Doing More With ‘Waste’

No-till, cover crops, grass waterways and border strips have helped tremendously in our battle against erosion, but I’m constantly looking for new and innovative ways to get ahead.

We’ve even worked with local industrial facilities to put their waste to work…

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Jerry Peery

Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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