What I've Learned From No-Tilling: No-Till, Crop Diversity Boost Yields, Cover Big Country With Less Equipment

A planter and drill are all no-tiller Bryan Jorgensen needs to seed 11,000 acres, while cover crops and grazing add a profitable dimension.

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NAME: Bryan Jorgensen

FARM: Jorgensen Land and Cattle



ACRES: 11,000

CROPS: Winter wheat, spring wheat, oats, corn, milo, forage sorghum, soybeans, peas, alfalfa, millet, camelina, grass and teff grass

With the number of acres our family crops, you would think we would have a whole battery of equipment.

In reality, we crop and manage 11,000 acres of gently rolling South Dakota fields with a 48-row, 40-foot air drill; a 24-row, 60-foot planter; a high-clearance self-propelled sprayer with a 120-foot boom; two John Deere 9770 combines; and some haying and feeding equipment.

Every acre is planted every year. That’s a feat we could never have accomplished farming the way we did prior to the mid-1980s.

Back then, the standard for our part of the world was to raise a lot of winter wheat and summer fallow. That meant getting only one crop every two years.

Today, summer fallow is almost nonexistent here in south-central South Dakota due to no-till, crop diversity, better equipment and improved seed genetics. Instead of fallow, we see everyone getting nearly 100% utilization on their crop ground.

My family’s farm, Jorgensen Land and Cattle, is in its fourth generation of ownership. I’m the third generation and am in a partnership with my nephew, Cody Jorgensen. My brother Greg and son Nicholas are also minor partners.


We really got our feet wet in no-till back in the early 1980s when I was in college and my father was still…

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Bryan Jorgensen

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