Government Agencies Cracking Down On Excessive Tillage

In a precedent-setting case, a panel of federal Ninth Court of Appeals judges recently ruled that certain tillage practices may fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The ruling came after a California farmer plowed his ranch using the “deep ripping” method to plant fruit crops. By doing so without a federal permit, he allegedly destroyed wetlands protected under the federal Clean Water Act. (For details that included a $1.5 million fine for the farmer, see page 3 of the June, 2000, issue of No-Till Farmer.)

“It’s depressing,” says Arthur Coon, one of the farmer’s attorneys. “It is a very significant issue to farmers across the country that plowing can be defined as a discharge of pollutants into navigable waters of the United States. We’ve certainly come a long way from what Congress intended in the Clean Water Act.”


  • Monsanto will pass a major milestone in 2002 by celebrating the fifth anniversary of the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans and Bollgard cotton.
  • For the third consecutive year, Syngenta Seeds has announced seed prices that are virtually unchanged for the majority of its NK Brand products. The company has also updated its flexible finance and payment options to further address continuing farm economic pressures.
  • As part of a Plant Health Initiative education project, the North Central Soybean Research program hosts a Web site containing valuable diagnostic information on a variety of soybean pests and diseases. By logging on to…
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