The four no-till innovators honored this year have accomplished much, some during the past 20 to 30 years, while others much more recently.
However, each has promoted no-till in unique ways in their community, state and beyond.
Syngenta Crop Protection and No-Till Farmer honored the four winners of the No-Till Innovators awards during the 18th annual National No-Tillage Conference in Des Moines in January.
A committee of leaders drawn from the no-till industry reviewed nominations to identify award winners in the categories of Business and Service; Crop Production; Organization; and Research and Education.
These innovators — two of whom call Indiana home — have influenced the practice of conservation tillage, helping farmers extract the most value from their fields with minimum inputs.
Each of the winners was chosen because of their commitment to the advancement of no-till farming, regardless of the type of crops grown or equipment or products used.
Rodney Rulon and Family, Rulon Enterprises
None of their neighbors thought no-till would work when Rodney Rulon and his cousins, Ken and Roy, started no-tilling in the early 1990s.
“We first started no-tilling because we were looking for ways to save on labor, equipment and fuel costs,” Rodney says. “We immediately saw benefits, including improved soil quality, erosion control and, ultimately, increased yields.”
Rodney, Ken and Roy Rulon operate Rulon Enterprises, a family farm that dates back to 1869.
The fourth generation of farmers in their family, the Rulons manage more than 5,300 acres of no-till corn and…