35 Years of No-Till Savings

AT 29 YEARS OF AGE, Nick Jorgensen has never operated any tillage equipment. Inspired by the native prairie system in south central South Dakota, his family began implementing no-till practices in the 1980s that are now helping them dramatically trim costs.

Located at Ideal, S.D., Jorgensen Land and Cattle Co. includes a highly diversified cash crop and beef cattle operation on nearly 13,000 acres of no-tilled ground along with 7,000 acres of native prairie grazing ground.

A Numbers Guy

When it comes to explaining the cost-savings, Nick has the records to back up how no-till and soil health save $100 per acre and $350 per head annually in their beef cattle operation.

1. No-till saves $50 per acre on fuel and equipment costs.

2. Grazing cattle on cash crop and cover crop acres cuts feed and manure management costs by more than $2 per day.

3. Having a hoof on every acre increases soil organic matter by an average of 0.75% per year, reaching 5% organic matter on much of their crop ground over the last 15 years.

4. Increased organic matter reduces fertilizer costs by $50 per acre without any…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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