What If A No-Tiller Wrote The Farm Bill

An innovative approach that offers major Farm Bill conservation and environmental benefits is really built around tripling the current no-till acreage.

Since the 1980s, Ray McCormick has seen that the major benefits of no-till include saving fuel, curbing erosion, building soil organic matter, boosting wildlife numbers and protecting the environment for future generations.

As a result, the Vincennes, Ind., grower is convinced that the new Farm Bill should reward farmers who adopt long-term continuous no-till on all of their tillable ground. In fact, his radical idea calls for doubling government subsidy payments for motivated growers who want to help solve the energy crisis while protecting the environment.

Plus, this revolutionary idea would help solve overcome concerns dealing with harmful emissions of greenhouse gases and global warming. But most importantly, it would offer bigger subsidies in exchange for farmers adopting environmentally-friendly cropping practices, says McCormick, who co-authored the Farm Bill alternative with conservationist and ag technology consultant Lisa Holscher of Wheatland, Ind.

“The goal of this idea is to encourage the widespread adoption of no-till,” says McCormick, who has been 100 percent no-till for a number of years with 1,500 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans For full details on McCormick’s highly effective program of no-tilling continuous corn, turn to Pages 22 to 27.

“At a minimum, this concept should triple the existing no-till acreage from 23 to 69 percent of U.S. farmland.” This additional 124.8 million acres of no-till would result in a significant reduction in fuel needs, change the nation’s currently inefficient carbon footprint and protect the country’s natural resources.

“More importantly, this concept would elevate the U.S. to the…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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