Oil Crisis Won’t Go Away

With growing concerns about worldwide oil supplies, no-tillers have an excellent opportunity to help conserve a considerable amount of fuel. It’s crucial as global oil production should peak between 2005 and 2010 before beginning a long and slow descent.

Warnings Are Real

Joseph Riva, Jr., a petroleum geologist in Great Falls, Va., recently told Bottom Line Personal newsletter editors that there are 200 major oil producing basins in the world. While the world has already used 35 percent of its total available oil, Riva says the remaining 65 percent isn’t immediately available because it’s located in small and hard-to-reach fields. Even though oil from these fields could supply world needs for another 100 or more years, it would be at much higher prices than we are used to paying for fuel.

Riva expects the average rise in oil prices over time to be as high as 20 to 25 percent per year for about a decade. Prices paid for transportation and agriculture will rise dramatically.

“Modern farming turns oil into food,” he says. “Everything a farmer uses — from pesticides to fertilizer to fuel for the tractor and even getting crops to market — is based on oil. Consumers will have to shift their disposable incomes to buy food by spending less on everything else.”

No-Till Saves Fuel

One of the brightest spots for saving fuel comes from the increased use of no-till. Data from the Conservation Technology Information Center in West Lafayette, Ind., indicates no-till saves an average of…

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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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