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Gabe Brown, a city boy from Bismark, North Dakota bought the farm of his in-laws in 1991. The farm grew small grains, mostly spring wheat, oats, and barley, using the conventional farming practices Brown’s predecessors had followed since 1956 – tilling (plowing) the land to seed and applying synthetic fertilizers and herbicides annually.


I think many farmers who are tilling will admit that tillage can harm soil structure,” says Dr. John Grove, a long-time soil properties researcher at the University of Kentucky. “And farmers who have soils more sensitive to soil structure damage admit this more quickly.


I recently posted this picture of amassed corn stalk residue on my The Farmer’s Life facebook page with the description “Water has caused crop residue to accumulate in some areas creating a thick mat. In our no-till fields. 


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