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Exploring the Opportunities and Obstacles in Organic No-Till

Growing consumer demand for organic products coupled with new technology and an evolving understanding of crop management could pave the way for growing profits.

A No-Till Farmer Staff Report

One of the emerging trends in farming is a move toward organic practices. As consumers become more conscious about the origins of their food, no-tillers and strip-tillers are experimenting with transitioning acres into an organic system. The move can be a lucrative one, but as we recently learned from growers and manufacturers, a successful transition requires planning, patience and persistence.

No-Till Farmer editors interviewed manufacturers and farmers to get their advice, challenges and outlooks for the no-till organic farming market. Here are a few highlights from those conversations, touching on the economic benefits, transitional hurdles and equipment needs.

Market Opportunities

Currently, consumer demand is driving the market for organic food and growers can get a premium on certified organic crops. For example, the current price for commodity soybeans is about $9.00 per bushel, whereas the U.S. national average for organic soybeans was slightly below $22.00 per bushel at the end of 2018, according to Food Business News. Joe Bassett, president of Dawn Equipment, suggests, “organic no-till is the highest profit farming system. Most people don’t think it’s possible but there are macro trends amongst consumers who want more nutrient-dense food, who want a different set of qualities in their feed and food products,” and it’s up to producers to figure out how to meet this demand.

Some see vegetable crops as being a more lucrative market for organic growers, however. Says Curt Davis, marketing manager with Kuhn Krause, “When we talk about momentum and…

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