A no-tiller from Iowa once told me his biggest frustration wasn’t necessarily dealing with residue, controlling weeds or getting a good stand. It was the fact that he couldn’t convert his neighboring farmer to no-till.
Most no-tillers have probably dealt with rejection before, even though 90 million crop acres in the U.S. are being no-tilled today and the practice is more profitable than ever.
But to arm some of you who may not know how to answer skepticism, I reached back into our archives and found a write-up that discusses more than a dozen myths that hold no-till back.
This one struck me in particular because I still hear it today:
Fallacy: “We’re no-tilling because we didn’t disturb our soybean ground last fall.”
Answer: “There is a significant difference between conventional tillage, occasional no-tilling of corn in soybean ground and a complete no-till system.”
This article was published in 1991. Even two decades ago, “no-till systems” were the ultimate goal of progressive no-tillers. Today, precision technology, cover crops, appropriate drainage and herbicide rotation are pillars of those systems.
I hope this article helps dedicated no-tillers pick apart some of the fallacies that might get passed around at coffee shops. And if you’ve already converted all your neighbors, you might get some good chuckles from reading the things some neighbors used to say.