Advertise Follow Us
FARMERS WANT TO see a profit. They want to see it every year and with every crop. There’s nothing wrong with that exactly, but I want to consider long term potential benefits and compounding profits as much as short-term gain when weighing management strategies.
I stumbled into no-till because I was playing the crop insurance game and it was the cheapest way to get a crop in the ground. Battling a 5-year drought and going broke fast, the short-term gain of going no-till won out due to it being the more affordable management practice. Long-term gain just happened to follow along with it.
It proved an especially good decision as I let marginal flat land go and started farming the 10-45-degree slopes near The Dalles, Ore., overlooking the Columbia River. No-till helped me rein in erosion and, with the help of chem fallow, win the battle against the morning glory that had flourished with tillage. Winter wheat yields jumped from a 48-bushel average to a 73-bushel average.
Today I know that making decisions that earn me at least some profit, even if it’s small, every year are better than decisions…