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Kurt Stahl explains how they approach conservation on their farm and why they work with CCSI.

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

August 20, 2013

2 Min Read

Kurt Stahl doesn't have the typical background of a son who came back to the farm. He graduated from Indiana University, married a girl from southern California, and spent several years off the farm working in industry. That gives him a different perspective today. He's part of a family operation where three parties share ownership of equipment, but each farms their own ground and makes their own decisions on that ground.

In addition he lives so close to urban Evansville that there are certain fields he can't no-till. The drainage is so convoluted due to development that flooding and ponding prevents them from making no-till a viable option there. On other land, however, they no-till.

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"I became interested in CCSI and what it was doing because no-till is high management," he says. "You approach pesticides differently, and it changes how you do things. You must scout every field that you have on a regular basis. I want to learn more about doing it right."

Stahl pulls a fertilizer cart behind his planter and applies dry fertilizer for phosphorus and potassium as he plants. He likes it because of the efficiency of banding. He applies enough for two years when he makes the application.

"It's one of the ways we can be more efficient, and that's what I'm looking for," he says.

He has his system set up so that he can plant 40 acres before refilling. That way applying fertilizer as he plants doesn't slow him down very much.

He's still learning about planting into cover crops, Stahl says. This spring he learned about slugs. It was a good year for slugs, not only in no-till and cover crop fields, but in some conventional fields as well. That's one spot where scouting paid off, he says.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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