Sylling Brothers

On-Farm Research Validates Benefits of No-Till, Cover Crops

For Minnesota’s Sylling brothers, computer savvy, technical expertise and continuous testing make for impactful improvements in farm management practices.

You might think Myron and Mikal Sylling had it planned before they even left high school. Myron went into computer programming, and 7 years later Mikal signed up for 2 years of John Deere Technician training. Fast forward 25 plus years, and Myron is the information specialist while Mikal is the equipment specialist on their 1,400-acre operation in Spring Grove, Minn. It is a complementary relationship that works and works well for the longtime no-tillers and enthusiastic adopters of cover crops.

"We are very fortunate that we get along and can work things out," says Myron, who notes that technology helps, as does a clear business relationship. "We each own equipment and have our own farms, but we buy inputs together and co-mingle grain. All corn and soybeans are run through the same grain cart with reverse calibration back to the yield monitor, so each knows exactly how much corn and soybeans each produces. Using the Farm Works accounting system, we settle up at the end of the year, including paying ourselves full custom rate for the equipment used."

Embracing Change

Ownership may be clear-cut, whether of equipment or harvested crops; however, purchasing and management decisions reflect careful consideration of variables and potential impacts. When Mikal ordered a John Deere 1775NT, 24-row, 30-inch row ExactEmerge, it was very much a joint decision that reformulated their entire operation. Like every change they make, it was only made after on-farm research validated the change.

"Since 2012, we had been planting corn in…

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