Grogan 1 copy

What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Controlling Water Means Reducing Risk and Pushing Profits

Irrigation and building soil health keeps Darren Grogan’s crops in the water ‘Goldilocks’ zone for maximum production.

No-till has resulted in our area having what I would venture to say are some of the strongest capitalized farms in the country. In fact, no-till is one of the only reasons we have farming in the area at all. 

Our farm and the farms around us are made up of very hilly ground truly ill-suited for farming. Livestock dominated the landscape here when I was young. There were some attempts made to farm the land over the years. 

Due to the tillage involved and the silty soil, however, so much topsoil washed away it nearly ruined those acres. The limited use and production potential resulted in relatively low land prices. 

When no-till came along, farmers were able to purchase land for cheap. With the topsoil held firmly in place they could farm acres previously only good for pastures, and get those acres to produce to levels never thought possible. Combine low land costs with top yields and you get farmers with a higher percent of profitability than most.

No-till isn’t even a question here — it’s just a fact. We’ve been no-tilling for 25 years and are moving on to other ways to make our farm more consistently productive. A prime focus for us is water management through a combination of tiling and irrigation. I farm with my father, Bobby, and my younger brother, Brian. We combine our passions and expertise to keep pushing the farm forward.

Water Out

It’s all about water management for us right now. Getting…

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Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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