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What I've Learned From No-Tilling: Making No-Till ‘Conventional’ is the Goal

Dedication to conservation and community has driven Dick Wittman and his family business partners to pursue no-till and share knowledge.


Pictured Above: NO BAND-AID APPROACH. Combining no-till with a healthy rotation of up to nine fall- and spring-seeded crops has given the Wittman family the confidence to develop a sustainable cropping system among the steep hills of the Palouse

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NAME: Dick Wittman

FARM: Wittman Farms

LOCATION: Lapwai, Idaho

YEARS NO-TILLING/DIRECT-SEEDING: 27

ACRES: 10,000 crop; 10,000 pasture & timber

CROPS: Spring wheat, winter wheat, barley, canola, peas, garbanzo beans, mustard, winter rapeseed, Austrian winter peas, grass and alfalfa hay

We’re not farmers, ranchers or loggers — we’re resource managers. That’s one of many mindset shifts our family has made as we transition from generation to generation farming wildly varying terrain near Lewiston, Idaho. 

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HARVEST TIME CRITICAL. With 10,000 acres of up to nine cash crops to harvest each year in a timely manner, Dick Wittman (second from left) says creating diverse rotations has dramatically improved the quality of their no-tilled soils.

We have a long tradition of being committed to environmental stewardship, including using direct-seeding (no-till) built around key core family and business values of stewardship, conservation, community service and the importance of faith and family. 

Each generation has improved upon the land and family business structure. There is a solid team committed to running the farm professionally.

People earn their roles based on merit, not entitlement, and those roles are mutually respected. 

My parents’ generation made it possible for our generation to be the first with college educations. Many of the family members running the farm have…

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Martha Mintz

Contributing Editor

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