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We had all these dikers and rippers and mechanical solutions to a biological problem. But we put in no-till or real low tillage type systems, because they were supposed to give you the most run off, at that time. Every scientist would tell you that. And we found out the opposite.” — Dwayne Beck

The Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, S.D. is a cooperative effort between South Dakota State University and the non-profit Dakota Lakes Research Farm Corporation. It’s a farmer-led initiative focused on identifying and developing profitable no-till systems designed for producers in the northern Great Plains. Dwayne Beck has been the research manager of Dakota Lakes since 1990. Among his many contributions to the understanding of using no-till in dryland acres, one of the most significant has been identifying the important role crop rotation plays in minimizing weed, disease and insect problems while increasing the potential for profitability within the system. 

For this episode of the No-Till Farmer “Influencers and Innovators” podcast, Cover Crop Strategies Associate Editor Sarah Hill sits down with Beck in the first of a two-part interview. Join us as Beck talks about how he got involved with the Dakota Lakes Research Farm, how his work on irrigation in dryland systems led him to focus on no-till and cover crops, some of the challenges he faced when transitioning away from tillage and much more.  

Listen to Part 2

P.S. There’s lots more great no-till stories and history in Frank Lessiter’s new book, From Maverick to Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming. Check it out here.







The No-Till Influencers & Innovators podcast series is brought to you by Martin Industries.

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Intro Music: Glenn Campagna - Folk Love

Interlude Music: Willow - Walk Into Forever