No-Till Farming 101

New to no-till? Gather more about the basic principles of no-till systems and how to overcome the initial challenges to successfully convert to the practice. You'll find stories of successful strip-tillers and their operations. Read how they overcame their challenges.

 

Feeling overwhelmed? Start with these information-packed articles hand-picked by our editors:

  • Focus on Biology for Better Soil Health
    For farmers aiming for sustainable and profitable crop production, optimizing soil health and function is the ultimate endgame.
  • What You Should Know About No-Till Planters
    For no-tillers, the planter is the most crucial piece of equipment on their farm. This article will take you through the basic components of a no-till planter and provide you with tips for no-till planter maintenance from experienced pros in the industry.
  • Digging Into the Principles of Regenerative Ag
    Based on the principles of building healthy soil, regenerative ag aims to not only sustain farm productivity but to actually work with nature to regenerate the soil, increase biodiversity and enhance the farming ecosystem.

ARTICLES

Bryan Jorgensen

Encouraging Beneficial Insects for Better Soil Health and Higher Profits

The number of insect species on your farm directly correlates with profits, according to Ecdysis Foundation director, Jonathan Lundgren. This idea of increasing insect life to benefit agricultural operations is paying off for producer Bryan Jorgensen, partner and chief agronomy operations officer at Jorgensen Land & Cattle, says the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.
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Boosting Soil Health Across the Pond with No-Till, Covers, Intensive Grazing

Three U.K. growers use a variety of practices to improve the tilth and productivity of highly variable soils, manage soil moisture and hike the output of their pastures.

Direct Driller magazine has been hosting a Soil Farmer of the Year competition for the last 5 years. The goal is to find, promote and champion farmers putting soil health at the center of their farm business management. 


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Uganda degraded fields
Sponsored Content: No-Till Passport Series

‘Going Nuclear’ on Soil Erosion Losses in Uganda

The livelihoods of millions of Uganda citizens is rooted in the highlands — the mountainous or elevated regions of the East African country. These regions play a significant role in agriculture, which is the main source of income for many Ugandans, including for 70% of working women. These regions are also recognized as one of the key hotspots where land degradation, due to soil erosion, is rampant.
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IMAGE GALLERIES

Scenes from the Palouse

Back in 2010, No-Till Farmer editor Frank Lessiter and his son, Mike, traveled to the Palouse area of eastern Washington to visit John Aeschliman, who’s been successfully no-tilling in the region for more than 40 years. Named one of the 25 No-Till Living Legends, no-till has allowed Aeschliman to successfully farm in an area that receives as little as 12 inches annual moisture and has slopes as steep as 60%.

Click on the articles below to learn more about Aeschliman’s operation.

No-Till Works Under Tough Conditions

What I’ve Learned from No-Tilling: Do More With Less!

 

How Do You Say No-Till?

Click through the signs to learn how to say no-till in different languages.

25 No-Till Living Legends

As part of the 25th anniversary of the National No-Tillage Conference, the staff of No-Till Farmer honored 25 active individuals who have made no-till work and grow over the years. The 25 Living Legends are listed in alphabetical order.

PRODUCTS

NNTC16 Audio Presentations

5 Lessons from No-Tilling in California - Michael Crowell - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

With 270 acres of irrigated, double-cropped land, as well as 375 acres of hilly, dryland farm ground, converting to no-till wasn’t always an easy transition for Michael Crowell. In this presentation, the Turlock, Calif., no-tiller talks about the steps he took to reclaim abused soils that were worked wet continuously and how he made irrigated land respond positively to no-till. Crowell also discusses what he did to improve the calcium-to-magnesium ratios for better soil structure, what’s worked — and what hasn’t — in regards to fertility and things to be careful of when converting planters to no-till so that you achieve the right setup.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

20-Plus Years of No-Till and Keys to Thriving for Another 20 - Mike Wolpert - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

In his 40 years of farming, Mike Wolpert has no-tilled for more than 20 of them. In this presentation, he discusses what’s worked and what hasn’t over the past two decades. The West Virginia no-tiller also shares his 7-step plan for keeping your no-till operation thriving for another 20 years: how to establish your farm’s mission; adjust your attitude for success; become goal-oriented; create action plans for long- and short-term goals; assess your results; and adapt your plans for future improvement.

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NNTC16 Audio Presentations

Building a Competitive Advantage with No-Till - Dan DeSutter - NNTC 2016 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

In an industry driven by marginal cost of production, how do you build a competitive advantage that will allow your operation to earn an economic profit consistently? How do no-till, cover crops and active soil biology combine to enhance long-term results? After recently completing an Eisenhower Fellowship in Australia and New Zealand, no-tiller Dan DeSutter of Attica, Ind., shares his adventures in soil health and discuss the relationship between regenerative agriculture and building a profitable business.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Tackling Challenges In A Continuous No-Till System - Roger Harrington - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

With more than 3 decades experience with continuous no-till, Roger Harrington knows some of the challenges farmers face in making this system work. The Ollie, Iowa, no-tiller raises 1,300 acres of corn, soybeans and alfalfa on rolling ground in southeast Iowa, and will share what he’s done with drainage and soil management to limit erosion and protect highly productive farmland.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Why Ultra-Narrow-Row Corn Should Be In Your No-Till System - Marion Calmer - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

For 30 years, Marion Calmer has studied the impact on yields of no-tilling corn in ultra-narrow rows. The Alpha, Ill., no-tiller became so convinced at the benefits that he designed his own corn head to harvest 15-inch rows.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

Fighting Erosion, Using Waste, Cover Crops, Technology & Other Practices That Make No-Till Tick - Jerry Peery - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95

With more than 40 years experience no-tilling, western Kentucky farmer Jerry Peery has faced many struggles and realized triumphs in no-tilling. The owner of Springhill Farms near Clinton, Ky., will provide an overview of the strategies and tactics he implements in his 1,600-acre corn and soybean operation.

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NNTC 2015 Speaker Presentation

43 Years of Trying Something Different to Improve a No-Till System - David Brandt - NNTC 2015 Presentation - MP3 Download

$19.95
When David Brandt went from the fields of Vietnam to the fields of Carroll, Ohio, in 1971, the encouragement of his uncle and grandfather, as well as local consultants and farmers, gave him the push to “try something new.” Thus began a 43-year journey with no-till. View

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