And then there was one.

John Deere is ending production of one of its two remaining moldboard plow models, according to a report from Progressive Farmer.

The company will no longer take orders for the model 3710 moldboard plow, citing changing tillage practices among farmers.

The Deere website currently lists three models of moldboard plow: the 975 and 995 models, both listed as reversible moldboard plows, and the 3170. The 975 and 995 are essentially identical, but the 995 allows for more bottoms than the 975, according to the Deere catalog.

Conservation tillage, which includes no-till but also strip-till, ridge-till, min-till and vert-till practices, is the narrow majority among U.S. tillage practices today, according to the USDA.

"No one has ever advanced a scientific reason for plowing."
— Edward Faulkner, Plowman's Folly, 1943

At the 2022 Commodity Classic, Calmer Corn Heads CEO Marion Calmer asked an audience of hundreds of growers from across the United States how many of them employed a moldboard plow. Less than 10 hands were raised.

To commemorate the passing, we share the following poem by a Brazilian no-till enthusiast:

So Long To The Plow
By John N. Landers

Throw your plough through the window
And revel in the crash
Of broken glass and paradigms
And non-organic trash

History had many reasons,
Learned from going wrong
But when there is a breakthrough
Don't listen to the throng

Inventions break the ancient mould
And open up the doors
To spread a new technology
That sets a better course

Man spent a lot of energy
breaking down the soil
But ploughs and heavy tractors
Give less and less for toil

Horse and ox did not compact
The way a steam plough could
And later, heavy tractors
Turned our soils to pudd

We've burn the saintly particles
That held our crumbs as bread
And lost organic matter
So our soils are nought but dead

The devil takes the hindmost
And those who don't evolve
Will pay the price of blindness
And their problems never solve

Conservation is for soils, sir
Not for clinging on
To now outdated practice
In an everlasting con

So throw your plough through the window
And revel in the crash
Of broken glass and paradigms
And non-organic trash.

The poem appears on page 123 of the book "From Maverick To Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming," by No-Till Farmer publisher Frank Lessiter.

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