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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know no-till is the best thing to preserve the soil and stop the serious cropping problems caused by years of conventional tillage.
In fact, no-till is so successful, it’s becoming common place in many countries around the world. Not only that, but many foreign farmers have had to make great strides to use the practice, even when it seems virtually impossible, resorting to importing equipment and traveling overseas to network with veteran no-tillers.
John Jackson is no different
Although living thousands of miles away, this no-tiller from Bergville, South Africa, enjoys the same benefits that no-till has to offer North American farmers. As expected, he also deals with much of the same problems.
“The problem is we’re just not making enough money,” he told attendees at the National No-Tillage Conference in St. Louis, Mo., last January. “How much is enough? Who knows. It’s different for everybody, but it’s taken the pleasure out of farming back home. From what I hear from you folks, it’s pretty tough, as well.”
Jackson was sold on no-till farming. But with the challenging economy and less than ideal growing conditions in South Africa, he began searching for ways to drastically cut costs.
“Our growing conditions only give us half the yields they have in the States,” he says. “But the chemical costs are the same. So we don’t have your high yields to compensate for input costs as much…