May-planted no-till corn emerges through a layer of cover crop residue on Nick Vos’ farm near Hugoton, Kan. Vos no-tills corn 2-3 inches deep to promote maximum root structure. This technique allows plants to develop five sets of nodal roots to better withstand stress.

Transitioning to No-Till, Cover Crops in the ‘Dust Bowl’

Nick Vos is pushing to overcome moisture challenges on his farm in southwestern Kansas by no-tilling and using covers to recycle available nutrients and keep his sandy soils protected.

Last updated on March 19, 2021

When Nick Vos came from South Africa to the U.S. to farm, the transition wasn’t an easy one. 

He grew up on a vegetable farm in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, North of Johannesburg. Their family lost everything in 2000 during a massive flood following 23 inches of rain falling in just over one week. 

Every bridge along a 168-mile-long river in his area were taken out and…

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is 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 No-Tillage Conference returns January 9-12, 2024! Build and refine your no-till system with dozens of new ideas and connections at the 32nd Annual National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. Jan. 9-12, 2024. Experience an energizing 4-day agenda featuring inspiring general session speakers, expert-led No-Till Classrooms and collaborative No-Till Roundtables. Plus, Certified Crop Adviser credits will be offered.

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