Q: Does your banker(s) give you any credit for, or see any appreciable monetary value in, the no-till system you’ve implemented?

A: Yes, my banker and accountant have seen the value in no-tilling and cover crops. While our yields have been trending upward, it hasn’t been a huge leap forward. More like baby steps up in yield. 

However our inputs per acre have been going down more every year. This year we will use a very small amount of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and will decrease nitrogen (N) again. My return per acre has really increased — to the point that my banker called me to discuss why my returns were better than the majority of their customers. He is seeing the light now on no-till!

— Carl Zimmerman, Earlville, Ill.

A: Our bank has been very supportive of our regenerative management system. Whenever we’ve taught soil health through regenerative management they’ve always been willing to help support our efforts. 

Our bank is well aware we’ve reduced our non-land out-of-pocket expenses by at least half. Last winter they said they would have additional funds they would like to lend to customers who’ve been consistently showing a profit. Since we only buy rather than rent ground we felt it best to hold off until the farm economy improves before increasing our acreage.

— Rod Sommerfield, Mazeppa, Minn.

A: The main thing our banker likes in our system is we’re improving soil health to the point where we’re able to cut input costs on items such as N, P and K, and we’re able to balance all of the important nutrients —…

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