No-Till Can Serve as a Moisture Management Tool

Webinar will focus on the moisture management benefits of no-till farming

August 20, 2020, 8:52 am | Liz Ripley

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual no-tillage and moisture management field day on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m.

Participants will visit long-time no-till farmer Doug Gronau’s farm in Crawford County and discuss the benefits of no-tillage, including soil moisture retention during dry conditions, with Jodi DeJong-Hughes, University of Minnesota Regional Extension Educator.

“No-till has been a key to the quality of our crops this year. According to my weather station, this summer we are six inches short of rain compared to our average. However, when we went to take a look a week ago in our corn fields, there was still adequate soil moisture available for the crop,” noted Doug Gronau, who farms with his son near Vail in Crawford County.

no-till equipment.For nearly 20 years, the Gronau family has been planting no-till corn and soybean to help reduce soil erosion, improve soil health, and manage soil moisture. They have also implemented additional conservation practices such as live waterways and terraces, and used cover crops since 2014 to address soil erosion and help improve water quality.

Jodi Dejong-Hughes has been a regional extension educator with the University of Minnesota Extension for over 23 years. Her area of expertise includes tillage management systems, soil compaction and soil health management.

"Reducing tillage is a great way to build soil structure. A soil with good structure will have better water infiltration, letting a field capture more of the rainfalls, and also has the ability to hold onto that water for when the crop needs it,” said DeJong-Hughes.

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1 p.m., click this URL: or visit and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day.”

Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923. Meeting ID is: 914 1198 4892

The field day will be recorded and archived on the Iowa Learning Farms website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.


Original photo: No-till equipment.

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!