I’m sure we’ve all had moments that seemingly turned our lives upside down or introduced palpable uncertainty — a new job, major surgery, a hitch in wedding planning or a death in the family, just to name a few.
And so it was for my wife and I this week, although it’s a positive change. As you read this, we’ll be getting ready to make an 800-mile trek south as we relocate from Wisconsin to Oklahoma.
Last Monday, there were 10 people in our house as movers packed 355 boxes. Our two dogs were howling from their crates, there was no place to sit, the wind whipped up to 35 mph and it started snowing sideways as our belongings were loaded onto a semitractor trailer. Not a day for the faint of heart, for sure.
But once the initial pain is over, I expect this relocation to the Great Plains to be an asset as we strive to improve the quality of Dryland No-Tiller and make it an even more useful tool in your decision making.
To accomplish that goal, we’ve found that nothing substitutes for being closer to the action. For me, that means personally visiting no-tillers to discuss their successes and challenges, and working with stakeholders in the farming industry to communicate best products and practices to growers.
It’s hard to deny that adopting no-till practices can be a challenging endeavor. It’s often a leap of faith, and a decision to ensure the uncomfortable and uncertain. Fellow farmers at the coffee shop may try to talk you out of it. What’s the payoff?
That’s the scenario Montana no-tiller Doug Manning is facing as he bucked local tradition and converted his Kalispell, Mont., farm to no-till last year. We’ll be sharing Doug’s story with you in a new blog we’ve launched at No-TillFarmer.com. Click here to see his first post.
I’d encourage you to visit and revisit this site as Doug posts updates throughout the next year about the challenges and success stories of his no-till operation, where he raises wheat, barley, peas and canola. Send a note of encouragement. Ask questions.
Do you remember your first years of notilling? What challenges did you face? What was the reward at the end, for getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and seeing it through? On this Thanksgiving Day, are you thankful you stuck with no-till?
Feel free to send me a note. And Happy Thanksgiving!