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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Cover Crops Take Root for Indiana No-Tiller

Jamie Scott became the go-to cover crop guy for an expanding group of neighboring farmers after success with the practice on his own farm.


Pictured Above: MIXING SPECIES. For the cover-crop cocktail mixes seeded into wheat stubble, Jamie Scott always works in several legumes, grasses, brassicas and broadleaves to maximize root diversity, plant function and soil benefits

Check The Specs...

NAME: Jamie Scott

FARM: JA Scott Farms Inc.

LOCATION: Pierceton, Ind.

YEARS NO-TILLING: 33

NO-TILL ACRES: 2,000

CROPS: Corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa hay, grass hay mix and cover crops

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Jim and Jamie Scott

A little nudging from the former owners of some of our farms helped move us to 100% no-till in the early 1980s. A little more nudging and before you know it we were diversifying our farm — and a large percentage of our neighboring farms — with cover crops.

We’ve been fortunate enough to buy a couple farms over the years that had been managed by some very good stewards of the land. We saw those farms performing better than our other acres and had some of the former owners offer some friendly critiques of our management. They didn’t come out and say it, but they sure indicated our conventional practices were tearing down the farms they had built up with years of conservation.

When we finally went all no-till, one of those former owners still shook his head and said we needed to branch out a bit from our corn-soybean rotation. He said ‘You needed diversity in a rotation.’

He was right, and today I think he’d be well pleased with our practices, which include a three-crop rotation and the…

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Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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