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Excerpts by Ron Ross
“NO-TILL IS NOT a machine, not a crop and not residue. Instead, no-till is a combination of all the critical things you need to produce the best crop with the least cost and the most sustainability. That’s been our farm goal for the past quarter century.”
This statement is from the 2003 What I’ve Learned From No-Tilling feature on the Ord, Neb., farm I work with my sons Jacob and Joey. At that point we had been practicing reduced tillage for 27 years and no-tilling for 23 years. Today, we’re inching up on a remarkable 40 years of no-tilling and that statement couldn’t be truer than it was then. The cumulative effect of our practices has our farm producing more efficiently and sustainably than ever.
Reading back through the article, it was interesting to see how we got started on paths we’re still following to this day. While many of our thoughts and strategies have stayed the same, plenty of our practices have changed or been refined, too. In this article, I’ll take a walk down memory lane to see just how far we’ve come.
NAME: Duane Lange
FARM: Landmark Farms
LOCATION: Ord, Nebraska
YEARS NO-TILLING: 40 years
ACRES: 750 irrigated 1,000 dryland
CROPS: Corn, Soybeans, winter wheat, sunflowers and grain sorghum
2003 — “We sprayed and planted corn into a 60-acre field of untilled wheat stubble in 1980. That turned out to be the driest summer we’d ever recorded,…