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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: No-Till Isn’t The Goal – It’s Sustainability

Improving the soil resource — even within long-term no-till — is one way Hans Kok believes farmers will hit higher, sustainable yields.
I've spent a good portion of my career helping producers adopt no-till practices through extension, as a Monsanto no-till specialist and, most recently, as a crop consultant.
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No-Till’s Measuring Stick

Cover crops, stacked rotations and soil cover of 60% or more after seeding are among the pillars of quality, continuous no-till, Rolf Derpsch says.

No-till may be practiced on more agricultural acres in the U.S. than any other country in the world. But South American no-till consultant Rolf Derpsch believes growers here shouldn’t be satisfied.


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You’ve Got To Start With Clean No-Till Fields

There’s no substitute for a two-pass herbicide program to keep weeds from stealing nutrients and sunlight and hurting yield potential
One of the most important steps in no-till weed control is to start with a clean field. This means you should use a burndown treatment to make sure the field is clean at or shortly after planting.
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The Whole Package Counts In No-Till

The fine points might change, but the success of no-tilling anywhere hinges on applying the critical basics.
The essentials of no-tilling are severely tested in an area with a short growing season, just 12 inches of rain annually and the potential for frost 365 days a year. Those are the conditions that Tim Melville faces as he no-tills 3,000 acres with his sons near Enterprise, Ore., in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains.
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