Ian Gronau is a Contributing Editor for Lessiter Publications, with primary support responsibilities for Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Strategies and the Strip-Till Farmer Website. He is a graduate of Chicago’s Columbia College and has been preparing content for magazines, websites and newspapers since 2009, and has been recognized with several awards.
Some farmers dive headlong into changing their tillage practices. John Macauley, who farms 1,200 acres with his father, Jim, in Groveland, N.Y., is proof that transitioning to no-till can be done in steps.
An ancestor of the Leroy Bupp’s family likely started farming the land in Seven Valleys, Pa. Bupp currently farms on acres that were originally farmed around the time the 13 colonies declared independence from Britain. Of course, much has changed over the years.
For many farmers, rebuilding the level of organic matter in their soils is a process that can take many years, oftentimes only seeing small gains. But Kennett Square, Pa., no-tiller Jamie Hicks has seen the organic matter in some of his soils rocket from 1% to up to 5% in a relatively short period of time by spreading mushroom compost.
Nancy and Jerry Ackermann have been strip-tilling corn and no-tilling soybeans and alfalfa on their 1,200-acre farm in southwest Minnesota for 15 years. Coming from conventional tillage practices, the transition began on a small 50-acre test plot.
At the annual Summer Field Day at Jim Hershey's farm there will be a Meeting of the Minds dinner at 6 p.m. on July 24, followed by a full, formal program with Indiana no-tiller Rick Clark as the keynote speaker on July 25.
Finding solutions to the problems farmers face is what inspired Harry and Etta Yetter to open a small machine shop in west central Illinois in the 1930s. Today, four generations later, Yetter continues the tradition of solving agricultural problems to meet the needs of producers all over the world.
Needham Ag understands the role of technology in making better use of limited resources within a specific environment by drawing on a wealth of global experience to overcome the challenges facing today's farmers, manufacturers and dealers.