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No-Tillers around the world owe a great deal of gratitude to this year’s winners of the No-Till Innovator Awards. Their efforts have continued to solidify no-tilling’s place among the world’s most efficient and economical ways of farming.
Co-sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection and No-Till Farmer, the No-Till Innovator Awards were announced at the National No-Tillage Conference in Indianapolis, Ind., on January 10. This year’s winners have advanced the practice of no-tilling in six categories: organization, ag supplier, equipment systems design, crop production, research and education, and consulting.
The brothers (Mike, Paul, Ted, Tom and Nick) run a 100 percent no-till corn, soybean, milo and wheat operation near Bucyrus, Kan., while having a custom fertilizer, application and planting business.
“No-till has allowed us to reduce our fuel, labor and weed control costs,” says Mike Guetterman, one of the brothers who helped switch their farm to no-till to increase efficiency and conserve topsoil on the sloping ground. “Twenty years ago, before we started no-tilling, we used 7 1/2 gallons of fuel per acre. In 1998, we used only 3 1/2 gallons per acre with no-tilling.”
Besides reducing their fuel use per acre, no-till has also helped the brothers improve their water quality. Guetterman Brothers Farms has some land in a government priority watershed, making water quality even more important. In 2000, the brothers showed the governor of Kansas how no-till and high-residue levels clean the water and leave their ground so it does not carry sediment…