Can Producers in Five Montana Counties Successfully Use No-Till Methods for Renovation of Irrigated and Dryland Pastures?

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2008: $29,999.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:
Ron Carlstrom
MSU Extension- Gallatin County


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: pasture renovation, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health

    Proposal summary:

    Traditional tillage practices depend on petroleum, an expensive non-renewable resource that presents an economic burden to farmers. George Reich will employ his Farmer/Rancher Grant to begin a no-till system on his Montana farm. Because of the rocky soil, farmers in the area have used the no-till system on dry land. This project will incorporate the no-till practice into several hay pasture operations. Instead of planting grain using traditional methods, grass will be killed with herbicides and the ground will be established with new alternative forages, followed by no-till planting.

    The goal of this project is to help south-central Montana farmers lower their input costs and reduce sheet and rill erosion, making their farming enterprises sustainable. Producers will be given the acquired information through grower meetings, websites and bulletins.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.