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Every youth that has heard stories of their parents walking to school uphill both ways in waist-deep snow knows that things were more difficult in the past.
While that story is a stretch, 40-year no-till veteran Gary Shick knows from experience that no-tilling was no walk in the park in the beginning.
“My first experience with no-till was in 1969,” recalls the Kenton, Ohio, producer. “Our herbicide options were limited, there wasn’t much for equipment choices and knowledge was hard to come by, too.
“I started out with an Allis-Chalmers planter for beans. Everybody needs to start with an AC planter so they appreciate what today’s no-till equipment has to offer!”
As one of the first no-tillers in the area, Shick had few mentors and had to spend a lot of time working out the kinks in his no-till system.
“My dad was willing to let me experiment on the back 40,” Shick says. “I had a lot of screw-ups, but they were learning experiences and I took them and stayed positive. I was determined to make no-till work.”
He’s done just that. Today, Shick no-tills 1,200 acres of corn and soybeans in northwest Ohio. Working with his daughter, Molly Manns, Shick continues to learn from mistakes and experiments to refine his no-till system and his marketing strategies.
While GMO soybeans offer no-tillers a lot of positive benefits, a marketing opportunity with Honda led Shick to opt for non-GMO soybeans in his system.
“Honda was receiving parts from…