A father-son team in Kentucky with more than four decades of no-till experience is still finding ways to put conservation tillage to good use.
Kevin Trunnell and his father, Edward, no-till and strip-till 1,600 acres of grain corn, sweet corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, pumpkins, 15 varieties of gourds and mini gourds and raise a multitude of vegetables. All but the commodity crops are offered for sale at Trunnell’s Farm Market.
The farm market was a project Trunnell started the year he graduated from high school with a small patch of sweet corn and an honor-system roadside market stall. It’s now grown to a farm destination for produce, entertainment and education for the larger cities surrounding the family’s Utica, Ky., farm.
“It was important for us to incorporate tours and education so the children and their parents can learn where food comes from and how it’s responsibly produced,” Kevin says.
Besides the basics, Trunnell also uses signs from the Kentucky Corn Growers Association to educate and facilitate discussion about the benefits of no-till.
Building On Success. Low grain prices nudged the Trunnell farm to go 100% no-till on corn, soybean and wheat acres during the early 2000s. The savings were significant and crops maintained and built yield. With their personal successes, the Trunnells started looking at ways to expand no-till to their tobacco and vegetable acres.
“We tried no-tilling tobacco with a modified no-till setter, but it works better in some soils than others. In our soil types, it didn’t work,”…