Sarah Hill is associate editor for the ag division, contributing primarily to Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Farmer, No-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. Hill has a farm background and graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Ag Journalism and a minor in Animal Science. She has previously served as managing editor of DairyBusiness and is a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association and American Ag Editors’ Association.
Salem, S.D., farmer Kurt Stiefvater started no-tilling 20 years ago to save soil moisture and save more money by reducing the number of tillage passes. He added small grains and cover crops to the 1,800-acre operation 8 years ago, and those decisions have improved Stiefvater’s yields, soil health and the condition of his cattle herd.
The practice of using a dragline on emerging corn began in 2019, due to the extremely wet weather rearranging the Ayers’ cover crop termination schedule. The termination date varies each year, thanks to several factors, including the custom spraying schedule, the weather and what herbicide program the Ayers are using. They typically use glyphosate and 2,4-D to terminate the cereal rye.
A lot can change in 30 years. In the early 1990s, Perrysville, Ohio, brothers Steve and Carl Ayers were adopting no-till and cover crops on 700 acres of continuous corn on their 650-cow dairy operation, creating a standard for other growers in the area to emulate.
Roy Pfaltzgraff III, Haxton, Colo., successfully farms where it’s “bone dry.” But with a combination of persistence and a willingness to try new things, the family operation is thriving despite the lack of moisture.
About 8 years ago, when Ben Dwire learned that no-tilling required less equipment and labor, and could make planting crops as easy as pulling into the field and getting started, he started questioning conventional methods. Dwire and his wife, Kristi, who farm 550 acres near Arco, Minn., turned to Kristi’s father, who no-tills in north central South Dakota, for advice.
MACAULEY “MAC” KINCAID, of Jasper, Mo., comes strolling out of his house on a muggy summer morning, smartphone in one hand, coffee in the other. Wearing a hipster-style trucker hat, he carries himself with a palpable confidence and ease.
Our editors hear amazing stories from no-tillers every day, but not every quote or anecdote makes it into print for one reason or another. Here, we chronicle a handful of tales from our encounters that have made a lasting impression.
Needham Ag understands the role of technology in making better use of limited resources within a specific environment by drawing on a wealth of global experience to overcome the challenges facing today's farmers, manufacturers and dealers.