Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

ARTICLES

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Autonomous Tractor Yes, Chisel Plow No.

On the opening day of our National No-Tillage Conference in January, John Deere introduced its first-ever autonomous tractor in Las Vegas to considerable fanfare. While the advanced driverless tractor is no doubt an engineering marvel, the package deal that requires the purchase of decades-old chisel plow technology is not so innovative.
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Battling an Unhealthy 44% Increase in Fertilization Costs, No-Tillers are Seeking Ways to Trim Critical Nutrient Expenses Without Sacrificing Yields and Returns

Sky-high fertilizer prices are certainly having a serious economic impact on how no-tillers will be fertilizing this year’s corn and soybean crops. Major fertility changes are coming, according to data from our 14th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study that analyzed extensive data from 480 U.S. no-tillers.


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Occasional Tillage Just Not a Good Option

Most no-tillers won’t want to hear it, but some University of Nebraska research indicates an occasional limited tillage pass won’t seriously damage no-till’s favorable soil structure. But with herbicide costs increasing significantly this year, we’ve heard that a few no-tillers are thinking of using a light tillage pass as a weed control option.


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No-Till’s First Field

It’s only 7/10ths of an acre separated by a drainage ditch from the rest of a 180-acre field, but it’s been continuously no-tilled for 60 years.

In the late 1950s, Harry Young had been thinking about reducing tillage on his family’s farm at Herndon, Ky. Conventional tillage had been practiced on the family farm since the 1830s.


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