Larry Manhart and his family farm approximately 3,000 acres of cropland and 1,000 acres of grass, with wheat, corn and fallow rotation (with a cover crop planted during the fallow year).
We have a goal of eliminating tillage and minimizing soil disturbance in our operation. We started no-till practices about 20 years ago and have experimented with cover crops in the last 10 years, gradually trying a few new ideas and practices each year (as conditions allow). We have planted many multi-species mixes for cover and have also began grazing some fields that had previously been fallow. Soil testing to monitor organic matter and other soil health factors has been encouraging, understanding that this is a long-term process with—hopefully—small steps in the right direction every year.
With healthy soil practices we have seen soil test results suggesting higher fertility and improving soil health. Cash crops seem to “hang on” longer during extended drought periods. There are more consistent crop yields throughout individual fields and across the farm (less variability). There are awesome daily gains grazing feeder cattle on a cover mix and very good weed suppression with covers.