Remembering the Early Days of No-Till Planters

An Allis-Chalmers service department veteran recalls some of the difficulties with getting the first commercially-available no-till planters to market.
An Allis-Chalmers service department veteran recalls some of the difficulties with getting the first commercially-available no-till planters to market.
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The No-Till Planter Race: Did IH Get There Before A-C?

International Harvester appears to have been the first to come to market with a no-till concept planter — 13 years before Allis-Chalmers’ model found commercial success in 1966. But IH exited production just 2 years later after only 23 shipments.
As our staff was delving into research for the “Timeline of No-Till History," ​the No-Till Museum we’ll be bringing to the National No-Tillage Conference in Louisville, and an all-new history series planned in 2022 to mark the “triple crown” of no-till milestones, we discovered some mystery over the first no-till planter. And it’s the kind of discovery that’s sure to fuel additional debates.
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The “Grandfather” of Strip-Till Talks Transition and Technique

Illinois farmer Rich Follmer reflects on how a desire to warm the soil while still maintaining his conservation efforts led to the invention of strip-tilling and shares what methods are working on his farm today.

Rich Follmer didn’t set out to become a businessman. In the 1980s, the corn and soybean farmer from central Illinois — considered by many to be the “grandfather” of strip-till — designed and built a system that would allow him to till the ground and plant soybeans simultaneously. 

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Reminiscing on No-Till’s Revolution

Four no-till pioneers share how they’ve seen the practice change over the last few decades and what factors will play a role in its future.

It’s been 50 years since No-Till Farmer launched, and a lot has influenced the practice in those five decades. From equipment and chemical innovations to government influence to cover crops and the soil health movement, many factors have impacted no-till — both good and bad.

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Editorial Viewpoint

Impacts and Insights of Influential No-Tillers

Our editors hear amazing stories from no-tillers every day, but not every quote or anecdote makes it into print for one reason or another. Here, we chronicle a handful of tales from our encounters that have made a lasting impression.

When I came to No-Till Farmer, I knew little about production agriculture other than what I gleaned during summer trips during the 1980s to my uncle’s small farm in western Michigan.

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The No-Till Revolution, A Storied Timeline (Through 2021)

With more than 75 new updates, this historical record identifies what built no-till into a profitable farming practice now embraced on 110 million U.S. acres.

Success with no-tillage — a radical change in farming from conventional methods — was anything but assured when it got its commercial start 60 years ago. But success came, thanks to the vision, courage and dogged determination shared by many — and from every corner imaginable.

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Two Roads to Farming’s Future: What to Choose?

Veteran ag economist John Ikerd says U.S. agriculture may need to look at a more integrated approach to the challenges it faces with growing public concern over environmental and social issues.

Long-time ag economist John Ikerd says U.S. agriculture is at a major crossroads with significant changes in the offing, but he says no-till farming will be important regardless of the ultimate future direction of the industry.

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