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No-till is all I’ve ever known. The practice was developed just 2 hours south of us in Christian County, Ky. My dad and grandfather bought an Allis-Chalmers no-till planter in the 1980s. By the time I purchased my first piece of land as a sophomore in college it wasn’t even a thought to put a plow to it. It just wasn’t how we farmed.
I ran my first piece of tillage equipment, a chisel plow, in 2022 after 17 years of farming on my own plus what I did as a kid on my parents’ farm. It was fun turning dirt, but not something I’m going to start doing regularly. This was a must-till situation. I took over a piece of land that had been moldboard plowed. You couldn’t even drive an ATV across it much less farm it. That’s the last time that field will be tilled if it’s up to me.
With no-till starting so close to us, nearly everyone in our area uses the practice. Over the decades, the practice has transformed the landscape. When I was a kid, most of the area was developed pastures, dairies and small tobacco patches. Today, more and more of those acres have been planted to cash crops, thanks to no-till. Nearly every new piece of land my wife, Leanne, and I pick up are pasture acres that I’m then able to no-till crops into.
NAME: Caleb and Leanne Ragland
LOCATION: Magnolia, Ky.
ACRES: 2,600 acres