No-Tillers Dish Out Their Best Advice

Here’s a look at what Ohio no-tillers say no-till can do for you.

I recently attended Ohio’s annual winter No-Till Conference and picked up several tips from some new and veteran no-till professionals. Held in early December, conference attendance was tremendous with more than 200 participants — a testament to increasing interest in no-till by many producers. Here is a quick look at some of the information picked up by Ohio no-tillers.

Value of Biomass

Jim Hoorman from Ohio State University explained how nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium held in residue can be worth $75 to $100 per acre with today’s fertilizer prices.

More importantly, he explained how the organic matter in residue has the most value over time in any farming system. Organic matter is a bank for nitrogen and many other nutrients, improving soil’s ability to produce higher yields. And that bank can build to a value of several hundred dollars per acre.

We all know from our own farming experiences that our higher-organic-matter soils also generally have the highest moisture-holding capacity and yield potential, thus any practice that builds organic matter is in the best interest of our long-term management strategies.

Farmer Panel

Producers Dave Lotz, Bill Lehmkuhl and Tom Lamp outlined their own individual no-till systems, making it clear that there are many approaches to being a successful no-tiller.

The producers emphasized and discussed three important areas of no-till management. Topics included the need to evenly spread residue across no-till fields, the value of using cover crops and the importance of grid or management soil sampling of fields to ensure…

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Leverich jim

Jim Leverich

No-Till Farmer's Conservation Ag Operator Fellow for 2022, Jim Leverich is a no-till farmer near Sparta, Wis. His 1,000 acre-farm has been in his family since 1864 and no-tilled since 1984. An innovator and educator, Leverich has 35-plus years of no-till and on-farm research experience, and possesses a deep, practical understanding of what makes no-till work. For his contributions while at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Leverich was named the No-Till Innovator of the Year (Research & Education category) in 2006. A talented presenter and writer, Leverich was a regular guest columnist for No-Till Farmer in 2011 when it earned the Gold Medal as the nation’s top newsletter from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

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