More than 800 farmers, researchers, educators and industry experts traveled to Indianapolis in early January to attend the 32nd Annual National No-Tillage Conference. Attendees representing 36 states in the U.S., along with the countries of Canada, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Ukraine spent 4 days absorbing knowledge and networking at the event. The 2024 conference hosted nearly 350 first-time attendees and featured 12 general sessions, 24 classrooms and 40 roundtable discussions on a variety of topics related to conservation agriculture.

Supporting Ukraine

Among the 2024 conference headliners was a moderated conversation with Howard G. Buffett, philanthropist and son of billionaire Warren Buffett, who returned to the National No-Tillage Conference for the first time since 2010. A longtime supporter of spreading conservation ag practices across the world, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has invested half a billion dollars in Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion in early 2022 to help farmers and farms keep producing and exports flowing. During the first of Buffett’s 10 trips to Ukraine since 2022, he asked what Ukrainian farmers needed to sustain their operations.

“I said, ‘What if we bought 15 combines and 15 tractors?’ That was kind of small for me, but I was just getting started,” Buffett says. “Within less than 2 weeks, we had 15 green combines and 15 red combines. All the John Deere combines were originally going to Russia, but John Deere wasn’t sending them, so we got a double whammy there.”

As of January, the foundation has sent 70 combines, 84 tractors, at least 20 Horsch seeders, and a number of Kinze and John Deere planters to Ukrainian farmers under the name Victory Harvest. 

Yield Monitor Calibration

No-Till Legend Paul Jasa revisited a presentation he gave 25 years ago about no-till yield monitors and some of the common mistakes made when using them. Jasa says yield monitors are only as good as the calibration and yield monitor output can be greatly affected by combine dynamics and operation. 

Strategies to Manage Herbicide-Resistant Weeds

Bryan Young, a Purdue University weed scientist, discussed herbicide-resistant weed management during a general session at the National No-Tillage Conference. He shared this list of best management practices to address herbicide resistance:


  • Prevent introduction of new weeds
  • Increase crop rotation diversity
  • Reduce row spacing & increase seeding rate
  • Integrate cover crops


  • Use tillage when appropriate<
  • Harvest weed seed control
  • Weed electrocution
  • Hand-weeding


  • Integrate diverse herbicide sites of action
  • Tank mixtures in foliar applications
  • Reduced rates can lead to reduced effectiveness
  • Soil residual herbicides

Jasa showed a chart that can help farmers use their yield monitor data and maps to determine the factors on their field that are the easiest to change in 1-2 years vs. areas of the field that might take multiple years to alter. Those more difficult areas could include portions of the field that are more susceptible to annual flooding or have a long history of tillage.

Cover Crops

Indiana no-tiller Jamie Scott led a classroom session discussion on profitable cover crop strategies. He advised learning the farming history of your land because knowing what kind of tillage practices and what kind of crops were grown on the land before you is key to being successful. Scott also talked about cereal rye and how even though it is common, there are still a lot of questions about the cover crop.

“There is no standard for cereal rye,” Scott says. “I hope someone comes up with one eventually, but as of right now there is still a lot of variation. It’s a new game every day to see what kind of surprise we will get when we open a bag of cereal rye. There’s just no standard to that product.”

Join Us in 2025

Gain expert no-till knowledge and ask for specific advice about your operation by experiencing the National No-Tillage Conference in person next year. Registration is already open for the 33rd annual event, which will be held in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 7-10. Visit to sign up and save on your registration.