2021 Program Released


We’re excited to bring you this unique, one-of-a-kind learning experience assembling the best no-tillers, agronomists and researchers together in one location to share cutting-edge ideas, techniques and strategies to raise your level of no-till profitability, efficiency and efficacy.

Click the button below to preview all of the world class no-till learning that you'll find at the 29th annual conference in Indianapolis, Jan. 12-15, 2021.


Here are just a few of the no-till experts you'll meet at the 2021 National No-Tillage Conference...

John Kempf


How Understanding the Rhizophagy Cycle Can Transform Your Nitrogen Management

Although nitrogen is one of the most essential nutrients for plants, it’s also among the most expensive inputs on no-tillers’ ledgers and the subject of long-running debates on what form is most efficient and cost-effective. But John Kempf says many of these questions can be answered by understanding the rhizophagy cycle and using that knowledge to manage nutrients in a way that improves crop health and profits while increasing resilience to weather stress.

The founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture will discuss how plants absorb and utilize different forms of nitrogen, how some forms of nitrogen increase a plant's water requirements, how to greatly increase nitrogen use efficiency and reduce application rates. He’ll also describe how plants absorb microbes directly from the soil, how to get the greatest benefit from seed treatments, and how to use other nutrients to get the same growth energy that nitrogen delivers — but with much higher quality.


Gauging Product Effectiveness, Reducing Waste with Plant Sap Analysis

Although soil sampling is a foundation for managing nutrients effectively, many no-tillers would like to pinpoint plant nutrient deficiencies during the growing season before they happen. Utilizing plant sap analysis can show plant mineral levels and highlight nutritional deficiencies and excesses before they cause any damage, says John Kempf.

The founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture will briefly explain the basics of using sap analysis effectively and then shift to illustrating how the test can be used to identify wasted nutrient applications, evaluate product effectiveness and performance and develop responsive, custom nutrient application programs for their farm to optimize crop health and yields.



How Embracing Diversity, Innovation Breeds No-Till Profitability 

There was a point when Loran Steinlage was fairly content with raising corn and soybeans like many Corn Belt farmers. But getting his first taste interseeding in 2006 sparked a wave of hunger and creativity in Steinlage, as he’s turned to a multi-crop rotation that to build soil resiliency and productivity on his 750-acre operation.

The West Union, Iowa, no-tiller will share the “story behind the story” on how he converted his farm over a 14-year period from a traditional corn-on-corn operation to a hub of innovation with relay cropping, organic no-till, wide-row corn and stacked enterprises. Steinlage will also explain why no-tillers who focus on low-cost farm management and offering higher crop-nutrient densities will have a better chance of increasing farm profitability now and down the road.


Getting Off the Starting Block with Interseeding

Interseeding offers many no-tillers — including those ‘Up North’ with shorter growing seasons — the opportunity to get cover crops established earlier in the year and maximize the benefit for their investment. But beginners may find it tough getting questions answered on how to get to started successfully.

West Union, Iowa, no-tiller Loran Steinlage, who’s been interseeding covers into cash crops since 2006, will share some history on how he got started with the practice, and offer some insights on equipment (you don’t have to break the bank), species selection, seeding options and timelines, termination and more. He’ll also share some of the yield data he’s pulled from his 750-acre farm and open up the floor for some extra Q&A time.

John Kempf


Building a Dynamic No-Till System That is Efficient, Effective and Profitable

When Annie Dee’s family moved to Alabama, it meant a transition from farming white sand in Florida to working with heavy, abused clay soils in their new location — making planting and establishment of cash crops very difficult. But turning to high-tech, conservation-based farming significantly has brightened the results and outlook for the family’s 4,000-acre operation.

The Aliceville, Ala., no-tiller and former No-Till Innovator Award winner will share how reduced tillage and no-till practices, cover crops cocktails, precision technology and spoon-feeding nutrients has rejuvenated the farm’s rain-soaked soils, stabilized corn and soybean yields and set the operation up for future productivity and profitability of Dee River Ranch.


Using Precision Technology to Boost Your Irrigation ROI

With 54 inches of annual average rainfall, most wouldn’t think Annie Dee wouldn’t need irrigation on her 4,000-acre farm. But often the rain shuts off in late summer and isn’t available during the critical developmental stages of corn — costing the family farm precious yield and income.

The Aliceville, Ala. no-tiller will discuss the advanced irrigation system installed for 3,000 acres on her operation, including a reservoir that collects runoff, high-efficiency pumps and utilization of Lindsay’s FieldNET program that ties together different technology platforms on her farm. Dee will also discuss the return on investment she’s seen after implementing irrigation in 2011 to water crops at critical growth junctures to increase yields.



Building a Brighter Future with a Diversified No-Till Operation

Jay Baxter had big shoes to fill when his father passed and he took the reins of their family farm. But his family has moved the ball forward, implementing no-till practices, cover crops, high-tech irrigation technology and other practices on their 2,000-acre farm near Georgetown, Del.

Baxter will provide an overview of his family’s diversified farm operation that includes corn, soybeans, wheat, sweet corn and lima beans, as well as a 200,000 broiler chicken operation and potted plant production in greenhouses. He’ll also describe the learning curve he encountered with planting cash crops and processing vegetables into living cover crops and how he overcame those challenges to continue improving soil health.


Making No-Till, Cover Crops Work with Processing Vegetables

No-till practices are often said to be incompatible with processing vegetable crops like black eyed peas, edamame or lima beans since they require machine harvest that greatly disturbs the soil. But Jay Baxter has found a way to make no-till work in this system.

The Georgetown, Del., grower will describe how he implemented no-till practices for vegetables while avoiding the much-feared yield drag, and he’ll show what cover crops brought to the game to fight harvest compaction, beat back weeds and reduce herbicide applications — all adding to his operation’s bottom line.

John Kempf


Sowing No-Till Profitability with Regenerative Farming

Even though Rick Clark has realized much success with a progressive no-till program, he’s not one to rest on his laurels. There’s always something new happening at the Williamsport, Ind., no-tiller’s farm, where he raises corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and field peas, while also managing a 200-head cow-calf operation.

            A hit speaker at NNTC in 2019, Clark returns to update attendees on his intense journey to adapt his 7,000-acre organic operation to regenerative principles. Clark will cover the in-row roller system on his planter that lets him terminate cover crops and plant cash crops in one pass, and he’ll detail why grazing livestock is an important part of his operation. He’ll also review the financial benefits he’s seeing by farming this way.


Making No-Till, Cover Crops Work with Processing Vegetables

No-till practices are often said to be incompatible with processing vegetable crops like black eyed peas, edamame or lima beans since they require machine harvest that greatly disturbs the soil. But Jay Baxter has found a way to make no-till work in this system.

The Georgetown, Del., grower will describe how he implemented no-till practices for vegetables while avoiding the much-feared yield drag, and he’ll show what cover crops brought to the game to fight harvest compaction, beat back weeds and reduce herbicide applications — all adding to his operation’s bottom line.



Don’t Just Save Your No-Tilled Soils — Regenerate Them!  

Soil regeneration is different from soil sustainability, which could be seen as maintaining a degraded resource. Soil biological activity is key to regenerative processes and is crucial to building more robust, profitable no-till systems, says soil microbiologist Kris Nichols.

The founder and principal scientist of KRIS Systems Education & Consultation will describe the different types and roles of various microbial communities and outline the interactions needed to regenerate the soil. The former Rodale Institute chief scientist will also discuss what practices and tools can be put in place that positively impact soil biology and contribute to soil regeneration.


Going Back to School: Soil Health Assessment 101

It can be a challenge for farmers early in their no-till journey to get an accurate picture of how healthy soil their soil is, or how much it’s improving. Using the right tools holds the key to getting answers, says Kris Nichols.

The soil microbiologist and founder of KRIS Systems will describe various basic soil health assessment techniques that can implemented on any farm, how to do them and how growers can interpret what they’re seeing in the field. She’ll also review all the newfangled soil health assessment tests and what growers can learn from utilizing them.

John Kempf


Two Divergent Roads for No-Tillers: Which One Will You Choose? 

Fundamental change in American agriculture is no longer an option — it’s an absolute necessity, says John Ikerd. One road to the future promises to fix the ecological, social and economic problems of today’s agri-food system with new biological, digital and mechanical technologies. The other road promises to avoid today’s problems by creating food and farming systems that are inherently resilient, regenerative and socially responsible.

The ag economist, author and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri will explain how no-tilling has a different path on each of these divergent roads. He’ll discuss and compare the environmental, social, and economic implications of each road — including how they impact soil erosion, water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, economic opportunity, and quality of life for farmers and people in rural communities. Which road will you choose?


Filling the Bin with New Market Opportunities

An ongoing quest for alternatives to conventional food choices has been magnified by the coronavirus pandemic. The movement to mitigate global climate change, coupled with growing scientific evidence of the environmental and public health impacts of the industrial agri-food system, had already fueled explosive growth in organic food sales and triggered a vibrant local food movement says John Ikerd.

During the COVID-19 crisis, farmers with direct access to customers through farmers markets, CSAs and local food hubs experienced greater demand than they could possibly supply. The professor emeritus, author and ag economist will explain the importance of internet marketing options to respond to new market demands, and help no-tillers learn and share perspective on the potential of no-tilling to benefit from these new and emerging food markets.

John Kempf


John Kempf, crop health consultant
Middlefield, Ohio

Building Disease Suppressive Soils, Higher Yields with the Plant Health Pyramid

While the science behind soil health is important, the ultimate goal for most no-tillers is building a farm ecosystem that is regenerative and capable of helping them be low-cost producers with profitable operations. There are definitive, practical steps to achieving both soil health and plant health through achieving steps outlined in the Plant Health Pyramid, says John Kempf.

In this exclusive 3-hour workshop, the crop health consultant and founder of Middlefield, Ohio-based Advancing Eco Agriculture will provide a comprehensive look at this pyramid and how growers can progress through each step toward achieving complete photo and protein synthesis and increasing lipids and plant secondary metabolites that will ultimately establish complete pest and disease resistance in soils and build the highest level of plant and soil health.


Questions about the National No-Tillage Conference?

Contact No-TIll Farmer
by phone at (866) 839-8455
or (262) 432-0388
by fax at (262) 786-5564

or by email at

To learn about sponsorship opportunities contact Darrell Bruggink
at (262) 777-2420 or

To learn about group attendance discounts contact Dallas Ziebell
at (262) 777-2412 or

Mail to
P.O. Box 624
Brookfield, WI 53008-0624

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