Since we started publishing Dryland No-Tiller we’ve shared several articles about some pretty inspirational farmers who’ve turned to no-till to slow wind erosion and conserve soil moisture to improve their soils and crops.
It seems like these stories are becoming more frequent in other publications in western Texas as well, which is great to see. I read another great story in the Wichita Falls Record News Times recently about Rex Lalk and Carl Brockriede, who were recently presented with an Environmental Excellent Award by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality.
NRCS specialist James Bilbrey told the newspaper a small amount of growers are still using conventional tillage in Wichita County but the picture is changing rapidly. Both farmers’ families have been raising crops there since the early 1900s and say yields for winter wheat, canola, milo, cotton and corn are “10 times better” since they adopted no-till in 1999.
And rather than using fallow they’re seeding harvested fields with black oats, barley and radishes as a cover crop, helping to add biomass to their soils and keep it in place longer.
Everybody knows not to “Mess with Texas” and that farmers there can be fiercely independent. But one day, as word about no-till benefits continues to spread, I think we’ll see a new generation of famers who will be as ardently committed to no-till as anybody.