What ‘Corporate No-Till’ Could Mean for Your Bottom Line

Enterprising no-tillers could pocket extra cash, efficiencies by working with large corporations embracing sustainable ag to please customers.

The movement underway with large agribusinesses wanting to connect their sustainability programs more closely with their suppliers could mean some new advantages and opportunities for market-savvy no-tillers.

Due to a combination of factors — such as increasing consumer demand to know where foods come from, shifting demographics and water quality issues stemming from excessive erosion and over-fertilization — the amount of time and effort companies are investing in sustainability programs is substantial.

Last March, for example, General Mills made headlines by announcing a strategic sourcing agreement with the 34,000-acre Gunsmoke Farms near Pierre, S.D. By 2020, it will convert the farmland to organic production to supply wheat for the company’s popular Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese line.

One grain producer in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), Shepherd’s Grain, has been connecting no-tillers with local food companies since 2003. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for the company and its member farmers.

 

Online Extra

Click here to read more about Kellogg’s sustainability programs and how a no-tiller is using them.

Concerned about the amount of subsidization farmers received in the region for wheat production, Shepherd’s Grain co-founder Karl Kupers started searching for a more sustainable business model for his wheat farm in 1983. Over the years he created a company that rewards no-tillers through the marketplace, not the government.

Starting with five varieties of milled dark northern spring wheat, Kupers and his partner, Fred Fleming, took their flour to a baker, and from there the company was on its way to its current 46-member…

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Mark-mcneely1

Mark McNeely

Mark McNeely is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. His previous experience includes 25 years in industrial engine journalism and marketing. Mark holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.

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