Joe Kern
Greening Up. Cereal rye, along with crimson clover and radish, have been a popular cover crop choice for Joe Kern to no-till his corn and soybeans into, as the species all play different roles in fixing nitrogen, boosting soil biology and preventing soil erosion on his hilly fields near Mariah Hill in southern Indiana.

Piecing Together a No-Till System from the Ground Up

A family that ignored naysayers and embraced no-till practices and living roots is bringing productivity back to tough clay soils and riverbottoms in southern Indiana.

Joe Kern and his father, John, admit they’re still dealing with a learning curve. But through working with no-till practices they’re transforming their “clay pot” soils into acreage that recently produced up to 240-bushel corn and 80-bushel soybeans.

After a long day’s work at a lawn-and-garden equipment dealership, Joe prefers to spend happy hour in his fields with a shovel or soil probe, pulling up and breaking open clods of soil to check rooting and…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein was the senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

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The National Strip-Tillage Conference returns August 8-9, 2024! Build and refine your strip-till system with dozens of new ideas and connections at the 11th Annual National Strip-Tillage Conference in Madison, Wis. Aug. 8-9, 2024. Experience an energizing 2-day agenda featuring inspiring general session speakers, expert-led Strip-Till Classrooms and collaborative Strip-Till Roundtables. Plus, Certified Crop Adviser credits will be offered.

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