Lucinda-Stuenkel-with-cows.jpg

What I've Learned from No-Tilling: No-Till, Cover Crops Provide Efficiency and Security in Tough Times

Integrating a proactive cover crop program has helped no-tiller Lucinda Stuenkel produce healthier soils and a productive cattle herd.

Working smarter not harder was the leading reason my husband, Daryl, initially made the switch to no-till about 18 years ago. With a wife and three young children whom he dearly loved, Daryl wanted to have more family time. As such, the concept of just making one trip to plant instead of multiple soil preparation passes had its appeal. He purchased a no-till drill and put it to use immediately.

Those extra hours with the family thanks to no-till practices were a blessing, as we came to realize when a pickup truck wreck took Daryl and brother-in-law Kevin (farm partner) in 2010, the day after harvest was completed. 

My sister-in-law Sheila and I had only kept the records and been “gofers” (go for parts, bring lunch, etc.) for the farm up to that point. But suddenly, I found myself responsible for managing the entire farm. It was a traumatic time for our whole family.

Our children wanted to stay in the same houses that we lived in and quite frankly so did I. We knew if we sold the land, then our children would have a very difficult time getting back into farming. So, we did everything we could to keep that option open. And we’re glad we did. My nephew, Aaron, just graduated from high school as valedictorian and is headed to Fort Hays State University to pursue a degree in agronomy. His brother, Ryan, is a natural mechanic and is just entering high school. Weekends and summers, they’re…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

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.

Top Articles

Current Issue

Cover_NTF_October_1019_198w.jpg

No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings