Frank Lessiter, No-Till Farmer Editor

More No-Till, Less Farm Stress

I’ve always felt no-tillers tend to be more optimistic and happier than the general farm population. Like everyone else in farming, you don’t like low commodity prices, dealing with numerous government regulations and ever-increasing input costs. At the same time, no-tillers don’t seem to get as concerned or complain as much about things they can’t control.

Now there’s research data that shows farmers who use no-till, cover crops and other soil health measures are much happier and satisfied with their quality of life than farmers who do not. These results come from a South Dakota State University study conducted by educator Larry Gigliotti for the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. 

The study compared South Dakota farmers who were involved in the “Voices For Soil Health” (VFSH) organization with growers who were  not participants in this group. Conducted in November of 2019, 90% of the VFSH group were using no-till and 75% were seeding cover crops.

No-Till is More Fun. A higher percentage of the VFSH group reported they enjoy greater fun and less farming stress in the way they farm compared to non-participants. 

Nearly twice as many no-tillers expect their operations to be well positioned for the next generation. Nearly 90% expect to be happy with their quality of life over the next few years compared to only about half of the conventional growers. As a career choice, 83% of VFSH growers expect to be satisfied with farming/ranching in the future…

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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.

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