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Making Long-Term No-Tilled Fields Even Better

Nebraska no-tiller Ben Steffen is turning to cover crops, variable-rate fertilizer application and manure from his dairy to build even further upon his farm’s 40 years of no-till success

Ben Steffen's farm embraced no-till practices nearly 4 decades ago, as he and his late father sought to reduce input costs and erosion and save soil moisture.

But Ben is finding new ways to improve the productivity of the 1,900-acre, row-crop farm and dairy near Humboldt, Neb., through the use of cover crops and more intensive nutrient management.

Steffen’s farm has been 100% no-tilled since the 1970s and he believes his fields held up “surprisingly…

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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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