Overcoming The Myths Holding Back No-Till

If you’re going to be successful in transitioning to no-till, you must avoid these numerous no-till farming fallacies.

While actually preparing a farm for no-till is getting rather basic these days, preparing yourself or neighbors to successfully make the shift to no-till is much more difficult.

Here’s a brief rundown on some no-till fallacies that John Greene of Pleasant Plains, Ill., feels a farmer has to overcome before he can successfully make no-till work:

The “farmer or landlord” fallacy:

 While one person may be sold on the benefits of no-till, the other may not — since both parties are usually most comfortable with the status quo. Since change involves risk, income stability may be the key.

The “farm manager” fallacy: 

Some farm management firms try to prevent farmers and landlords from trying no-till. Since farm managers are often paid a percentage of gross income, they may oppose changes that affect their share.

“Prove that you know the system well enough to make no-till work without making serious mistakes,” Greene says. “This involves replicating what has worked for others who have been in no-till for at least 5 years.

“And when you want to change, realize landlords and farm managers may not fully understand no-till. Show sensitivity and patience.”

The “tillage mentality” fallacy:

Farmers have traditionally tilled to break the ground and many feel anything less is bound to produce less yield and income.

4The “If you are disturbing the soil, then you really aren’t no-tilling” fallacy:

Farmers who aren’t farming steep slopes have found ways to modify no-till to make it at least the…

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