Kelli and Ryan Chalfant with Bob Chalfant

What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling: Continuous Adjustments Make for Profitable No-Till Yields

Indiana father-son no-till team seek to balance productive yields with profitability.

We’re not out for the highest yield at any expense. We’re out for the highest yield we can produce profitably. This tenet is always in the back of our minds when my son, Ryan, and I are evaluating the different management practices we try.

Among the first of the changes we made in our ongoing journey to the top of the profitability bell curve was going no-till. In 1987 we no-tilled 37 acres of soybeans and really liked what we saw.

We realized that not only did it make sense on my farm, but it would make sense to a lot of other people in the area, too. We figured if it caught on, the value of our tillage equipment would plummet. Instead of slowly working our way into no-till, we had a sale in the spring of 1988 and liquidated all the tillage equipment on the place before the price took a hit.

We sold cultivators, a one-pass finishing tool, discs, the planter, our two biggest tractors — everything. All that expensive equipment was replaced by one John Deere no-till planter and Great Plains drill. The savings from no longer having to purchase, maintain or operate those pieces of equipment was substantial. 



NAME: Bob and Ryan Chalfant

FARM: Chalfant Family Farms

LOCATION: Randolph County, Indiana


ACRES: 2500+

CROPS: Corn, soybeans and wheat

Over the subsequent years we’ve made a lot of other changes both large and small to improve productivity efficiently. We’ve tiled…

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Martha mintz new

Martha Mintz

Since 2011, Martha has authored the highly popular “What I’ve Learned About No-Till” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002.

Growing up on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana, Martha is a talented ag writer and photographer who lives with her family in Billings, Montana.

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