Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

ARTICLES

No-Tilling Makes Continuous Cropping Work in Dry Climate

Leaning on the expertise of local researchers, Carl Vandermolen has diversified his no-till rotation and found another level of soil health.
The Gallatin Valley is a bustling place. Snug in the shadow of towering Rocky Mountain peaks, the valley is home to Montana State University, the hip and thriving town of Bozeman and a diverse, often progressive community of farmers — ranging from container hydroponic growers of salad greens to large-scale commercial producers — that make it feel more like a California valley than one in Montana.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: No-tilling, Cover Crops Help Tame Troublesome Soils

Abused, heavy clay soils are now almost fluffy and far more productive thanks to careful management focused on improvement.
We went from farming white sugar sand to farming the heaviest of clay soils when my family moved our farming operation from Florida to Alabama in 1989. To say the move made farming a bit different would be a drastic understatement.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Doubling Soybean Yields with No-Till, Precision Technology

Capitalizing on the expertise of those around him helped David Eickholt double soybean yields over his 30-year no-till tenure.
I don't know everything when it comes to farming. Admitting that fact, and seeking out the knowledge of others, has helped our farm move forward at a steady pace over the years.
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What I’ve Learned From No-Tilling: Patience and Like Minds Yield No-Till Success

From his first no-tilled acres to tweaking cover crops, working with a ‘No-Till Club’ helps Jim Riesberg forge ahead.
About 75% OF the acres around me still aren’t no-tilled. I can’t blame them. It wasn’t the easiest change to make, but it’s well worth it in my opinion.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Controlling Water Means Reducing Risk and Pushing Profits

Irrigation and building soil health keeps Darren Grogan’s crops in the water ‘Goldilocks’ zone for maximum production.
No-till has resulted in our area having what I would venture to say are some of the strongest capitalized farms in the country. In fact, no-till is one of the only reasons we have farming in the area at all.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Harnessing Data, Tweaking Inputs Pushes No-Till Production to New Heights

Variable-rate technology helps North Dakota’s Chad Rubbelke better utilize precision data to apply nutrients precisely and boost crop yields.
I was born into no-till, you could say. It’s really all I’ve ever known. My grandfather was a big proponent for the environment and was an advocate when my Dad pushed for reducing tillage on our farm in the early 1990s.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: No-Till, Along with Longer Rotations, Makes for Great Grazing and Improving Soils

A balance of cash crops and forage mixes used for intensive grazing helps keep Plum Thicket Farms moving in the right direction.
We weren’t farmers when my family moved to northwest Nebraska in 1995. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado with my mom, Nancy, who was working as a veterinarian and my dad, Rex, an architect.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Negotiating Challenges and Opportunities When Combining No-Till and Dairy

Cover crops and strategic nutrient-cycling rotations help manage manure, while twin-row cropping tackles late-germinating weeds.
In the last 10 years I’ve seen no-till declining in my area. I simply don’t understand it, maybe it’s the draw of recreational tillage as we like to call it, but to me it’s just not sustainable in the long run.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Working with At-Risk Soils Leads to Experimentation and No-Till Success

Adding cover crops, winter wheat and making key equipment changes help keep soils in place in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area.
While I only truly count myself as being a no-tiller for the past 8 years since I started farming on my own, I’m no stranger to the practice. Of the 210 acres I farm, all but 38 acres are considered Highly Erodible Lands (HEL). The land my father, Wayne “Buzz” Bindl, farmed was similar and I’m sure this was one of the driving reasons he started no-tilling back in the early 1980s.
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