Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

ARTICLES

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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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Using Precision At Every Turn Yields Success

Kentucky no-tiller Mark Chapman fully embraces technology to maximize his planter setups, nutrient inputs and crop rotations.
WATCHING SOME OF the best soils we owned wash away in a big storm accelerated my family’s move to 100% no-till. My father, James, had tried no-tilling in the late 1960s, starting with soybeans behind the small amount of wheat we grew at that point.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Cattle, Cover Crops, No-Till and Improved Soil Health Provide Returns

Fifth generation of Doans keeping North Dakota’s Black Leg Ranch abundant with diverse business plan of cattle, crops and agritourism.
Some of the soils I helped farm as a child in southwestern North Dakota are probably somewhere in South Dakota now. I grew up in the era of wheat and summer fallow. A lot of the ground around here is very sandy and marginal. Did it ever blow when we were tilling. I remember as a kid getting sent with a disc or a drag to try and make it stop blowing. It seemed so futile, and it was.
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Iowa Brothers’ No-Till Success a Product of Tradition, Education and Attitude

A rigorous equipment maintenance program and trying new practices, such as deploying cover crops, keep the Pillings moving forward.
WHEN WE STEP into our office, soil conservation posters serve to remind us why we do the things we do on our farm. Our soils need to be protected and nourished to keep waterways healthy and the nation’s food supply sustainable.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Making No-Till ‘Conventional’ is the Goal

Dedication to conservation and community has driven Dick Wittman and his family business partners to pursue no-till and share knowledge.
We’re not farmers, ranchers or loggers — we’re resource managers. That’s one of many mindset shifts our family has made as we transition from generation to generation farming wildly varying terrain near Lewiston, Idaho.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Building Fertility Takes Long-term No-Till to the Next Level

Cover crops, the right equipment and no-till have improved the scant 6 inches of topsoil at Paul Kelly’s farms, and now he’s looking to the next boost.
I started farming on the brink of the 1980s farm crisis. I graduated from high school in 1983 and was raring to continue in the farming tradition established by my father and grandfather.
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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Once a Naysayer, Agronomist is Now a No-Till Champion

Years of no-till experience enables Bud Smith to help no-tillers find the weakest link in their field, such as seed placement and nitrogen timing.
I'm not sure anyone has changed their stance on no-till more than me. As the agronomy manager of Caledonia Farmers Elevator in Michigan, the farmers I advised always looked to me for the solutions to their problems. When the early innovator farmers I worked with started attempting no-till, I watched a lot of failures and I didn’t have any good answers at the time.
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