No-Till, Cover Crops and Cattle Bring Revenue to Offset Tight Margins – No-Till Farmer

no-till,-cover-crops-and-cattle-bring-revenue-to-offset-tight-margins-–-no-till-farmer

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WE MAY DRIVE red equipment, but green is our favorite color by far. A perfectly plowed field has nothing on the brilliant green mat dotted with hairy vetch flowers that dominates our tractor cab view when my cousin, Tim Imhoff, and I seed our crops. 
As the mat turns brown and creates a protective shield, green crop seedlings, not weeds, poke through. Acres dedicated to multi-species cover crops make a green jungle for Tim’s cattle herd, and a green annual ryegrass cover crop mix splits corn rows as we look down from the harvester. Yeah, we really like green.

Green yields green, too. Since implementing cover crops in our long-term no-till fields, we have significantly increased the income derived from the same acres. Though it would seem we’re taking more from the soil by having it grow something constantly, instead we’ve seen soil health build and benefits compound. 

My wife, Ginger, and I know we someday will turn over to Tim’s children, the seventh generation on this farm, a place that’s in far better condition to support them and their families.

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NAME: Mike Imhoff

FARM: Imhoff Farms

LOCATION: Murphysboro, Ill.

YEARS NO-TILLING: 26

ACRES: 1,500

CROPS: Corn, soybeans and winter wheat

It’s not that previous generations didn’t care for the soil. My grandfather and great uncle tried no-tilling in the early 1980s, but they lacked the tools and resources to make it work. They were twins and disagreed on the practice, so the struggle to make it…
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