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Editor's Note: No-Till Farmer has created a comprehensive no-till history timeline that will continue to be updated in perpetuity. Click here to view the complete Timeline of the No-Till Revolution.
Success with no-tillage — a radical change in farming from conventional methods — was anything but assured when it got its commercial start 60 years ago. But success came, thanks to the vision, courage and dogged determination shared by many — and from every corner imaginable.
Many of no-till’s proponents risked their reputations by attaching their names to no-tillage. (Our founder, Frank Lessiter, who has edited every issue of No-Till Farmer since its inception in 1972, was one of them.)
Plowman’s Folly by Edward Faulkner (who picked a fight with the moldboard plow and those who used it) and Harry Young Jr.’s commercial no-till plot in Kentucky in 1962 often get the lion’s share of the spotlight for no-till history. But credit for no-till’s advancement can’t be summarily distilled in a few pithy sentences or citations.
Ingenuity and an “against the grain” perseverance are omnipresent in the “no-till story.” The growth of no-till was driven by many factors, from the testing and perfecting of new chemical formulations … To the researchers and extension agents who ignored their administrators and tirelessly studied and learned the practice … To the salesmen who quelled their doubts upon hearing one “no” after another … To those who assembled the groups and associations, workshops and field days.
But most important…