In a farming career spanning over four decades, not much fazes Mike Cerny at this point. From downturns to data and drones, the “combo-tiller” knows better than to get carried away with any given industry ‘breakthrough,’ although he is always willing to at least give one a try.
“I tried out field mapping from the very beginning,” Cerny says with a smile as he strolls through the equipment shed on his Sharon, Wis., farm. “The first GPS receiver I ever bought had the serial number ‘002.’”
His commitment to learning by doing through the years has helped shape Cerny’s multi-faceted approach for success in a three-crop rotation of corn, soybeans and wheat. Through seed research, tillage methodology and equipment optimization, he has created a foundation of flexibility and a willingness to adapt.
After years of strictly no-tilling all of his crops, Cerny first experimented with strip-till about 10 years ago when a neighbor did some custom work on Cerny’s acres. Pleased with the yield and moisture-retention on the trial acres, Cerny bought his first strip-till rig, a Kuhn Krause Gladiator, 6 years ago. Today, he strip-tills 2,000 custom acres for 10 different farmers, and 3,000 total acres across his entire operation.
Cerny originally used strip-till for his commercial…