What I've Learned from No-Tilling: Breaking Through the Plow Pan, Taking No-Till to New Heights

Ralph Upton Jr. didn’t know how his early gamble on no-till and cover crops would pay off, but he’s reaping the rewards for his sustainable investment.

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NAME: Ralph Upton Jr.

LOCATION: Springerton, Ill.

YEARS NO-TILLING: 23

ACRES: 1,800

CROPS: Corn, soybeans and winter wheat

I’ve planted almost every cover crop imaginable on my acres in the last decade, but cover crops certainly aren’t a new or novel thing to me. My family has been using cover crops for more than 50 years. What’s changed over the years is how we use them, and what we know about what…

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Martha Mintz

Since 2011, Martha has authored the highly popular “What I’ve Learned About No-Till” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002.


Growing up on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana, Martha is a talented ag writer and photographer who lives with her family in Billings, Montana.

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