HIGHER NO-TILL LAND RENTS? The new farm bill may increase Midwestern land rents as much as $6 per acre in the Midwest. Landowners will bid the support payment potential into rental prices, says Purdue University agricultural economist Allan Gray.

How Will The New Farm Bill Impact No Tillers?

Since many no-tillers already qualify for payments, you’ll be first on the list for 2002 farm bill payments.

Since most no-tillers probably already qualify for payments, the new 2002 farm bill offers plenty of opportunities and should lead to further expansion of no-tilled acres. But if you’re just no-tilling corn and soybeans, don’t expect that rotation to automatically meet the necessary government criteria in all states.

In mid-May, President George W. Bush signed the 6-year Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) at an anticipated total cost of $190 billion. That represents a 77 percent increase over existing programs, while new and expanded conservation programs account for 20 percent of the total package.

More No-Till Acres Coming

Jerry Crew believes the new farm bill will have a tremendous impact on no-tilled acres. While actual incentives will depend on the actions of local conservation officials, the 600-acre no-tiller from Webb, Iowa, says more dollars will be available to entice farmers to make a 5-year commitment to continuous no-till.

“Once they no-till for 5 years, they’ll never go back to tillage,” says Crew.

However, Crew says no-tillers will need to work hard to encourage many Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employees to shy away from recommending farm terraces, contours, waterways and other erosion-control practices instead of no-till.

“We’ve been using that approach for 60 years and it hasn’t solved the erosion problem,” he says. “In many cases, it’s gotten worse because we’re now row-cropping continuously.”

Another positive for no-tillers is that the Conservation Security Act portion of the 2002 Farm Bill offers direct payments based on conservation practices that are…

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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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