No-Tillers ‘Dig’ Soil Health

If, after reading this month’s “Frank Comments” column, you have the idea I’m irritated and disappointed, you will be right. It’s because no-tillers don’t receive the recognition they deserve for being innovators behind today’s soil health and ag sustainability movements.

Soil health and sustainability seem to be the leading “ag buzz words” today among farm groups, government agencies and even growers using extensive tillage practices. While I have nothing against these two popular crazes, they represent basic ideas no-tillers have used effectively for decades. And with very little recognition to no-tillers for their pioneering efforts!

As a result, you and other no-tillers don’t need to be lectured about the benefits of soil health and sustainability. 

Covering Soil Biology 

Our first issue of No-Till Farmer, which was published in 1972, included articles on improving soil health and our publication has continued to do this for more than 45 years. We’ve always recognized the all-important role that the millions of creatures living under the soil surface play in the success of no-till, and we’ve continued to focus on soil health through the years.

Our continued emphasis on soil biology has also always been an important part of the program for the National No-Tillage Conference. In fact, North Dakota no-till educator Dwayne Beck stressed the importance of soil biology to attendees at the very first event in 1993. Since then, soil microbiologists and educators have been speakers at all of these midwinter gatherings over the past 25 years.

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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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