Corn Calamity

Combatting Compaction with Cover Crops

A relentless 75-acre compaction problem gave Brownsburg, Ind., farmer Mike Starkey perspective on the sustainable, cost-effective advantages of a no-till, cover crop system.

During the summer of 2011, Brownsburg, Ind., corn, soybean and wheat no-tiller Mike Starkey agreed to host the John Deere Roll-Out new equipment event on his farm, leasing out a 75-acre corn plot at the entrance of his 2,600-acre operation. 

Dealers from around the world visited to see the release of F-Series Combines and R-Series Tractors over a 2-week period. But soon after, Starkey came to realize the degree to which 95-plus tractors and other…

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