NAME: Don Lobb
LOCATION: Caledon, Ontario
YEARS NO-TILLING: 17
YEARS ADVOCATING NO-TILL: 32
No-till is a whole lot more than planter modification.
That’s the first thing I learned when I gave the practice a try on my Ontario farm 8 miles inland from Lake Huron. To be successful at no-till, you must look at it in terms of your entire farming system.
When I decided to assess no-till on my farm in 1981, I approached it as a strategic process. I had been an innovator/early adopter before, and I knew the pitfalls of being on the leading edge.
In 1962, I had the first fully operational liquid hog manure setup in Canada. While the barn was touted as state-of-the-art, I experienced high losses and was operating in a technical vacuum. Few people had any idea my problems existed, much less how to solve them. The experts quickly disappeared and I was on my own.
I was alone struggling with the project, I was alone when I faced the banker, and I was alone in figuring out how to move past the mess. I was determined not to repeat this scenario with no-till.
Instead, I approached it scientifically. I decided that I would:
Study the agronomy of no-till on my farm before comparing it to a tilled system and making my final decision to adopt the practice.
Ensure that the people I engaged for technical support would be well informed.
Little did I know…