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While many of our readers certainly recognize the positive impact no-till has on their farm’s profitability, most haven’t recognized the environmentally-friendly value it also brings to America’s non-farm population. By combining the extra cropping value enjoyed by growers with the climate-friendly environmental benefits of this practice, it’s apparent to me that we’ve been underselling the overall worth of no-till
Over the years, growers have told the No-Till Farmer staff that they’ve pocketed anywhere from an extra $25-90 per acre by switching to no-till. The typical no-till savings include less machinery investment, reduced input costs, fewer trips across the field, less labor needs, better water usage, lower nutrient needs and the ability to farm more acres.
Since the extra value differs among farms and fields, we’re taking a conservative approach by settling on an extra return of $30 per acre as an across-the-board average for calculating the overall benefits of no-tilling in this article.
Based on a recent economic analysis by the Rural Investment to Protect Our Environment (RIPE) group, here’s a rundown on the value this farmer-led, non-profit organization places on five key environmental benefits that occur with no-tilled soybeans:
By adding a conservative $30 per acre earned by growers, the overall no-till benefit grows to $142 per acre.
By seeding cover crops after corn harvest, they estimated an overall environmental value of $102 per acre. With savings of $15 per acre due to reduced fertilizer and pesticide purchases alone, adding these figures with the environmental benefits…