No-Till History

The No-Till History digital archive to commemorate no-till’s historic year in 2024 is made possible by Calmer.


In 1975, after borrowing $500 from the bank and $500 from his grandma, Marion started his farming operation of 80 acres of corn and 10 gilts. He would go on to build the world’s first 15-inch corn head in 1994, the world’s first 12-inch corn head in 2013 and the world’s largest corn head (at the time) that same year. Most recently, Marion invented the BT Chopper® Upgrade Kit system to enable factory corn heads to manage cornstalk residue more efficiently than ever, saving farmers time and money. On top of that Calmer Corn Heads build custom corn heads that will fit most combines. Visit them at

Enjoy a stunning and unique collection of no-till stories, photographs, facts, and figures chronicling the history of no-till farming from the early years through today. This extraordinary hardbound book is over 400 pages and takes a decade-by-decade look at the world of no-till as seen through the eyes of those who observed the many changes in no-till since the first commercial U.S. plot in 1962. Learn more about "From Maverick to Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming" and information to order here.

View the full archive of content below, or click on one of the following sub-categories for media-specific coverage.

Timeline | Articles & News | Videos | Podcasts


Your No-Till History

Stripper-Header Revolutionized No-Till Wheat

Pitched as ‘the greatest breakthrough in grain harvesting since the self-propelled combine,’ the stripper-header redefined no-till's prospects in high-yield wheat

The originator of the stripper-header was Shelbourne-Reynolds (S-R), based in Suffolk, England. The grain stripper was borne from the picking head on the manufacturer’s self-propelled green-pea harvester.  The No-Till History series is made possible by Calmer Corn Heads.

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Your No-Till History

Remembering Howard Dean Martin (1944-2024) & the No-Till Row Cleaner

Credited with the first mechanical no-till row cleaner, the No-Till Farmer Legend, farmer & designer left a swath of innovation that helped no-till work
The future of Howard Martin’s industry-leading innovation, which was so critical to success with the new no-till method, was in doubt on several occasions. The No-Till History series is made possible by Calmer Corn Heads.
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Your No-Till History

No-Till’s Value Seen During Oil Crisis — in South America, That Is…

Interest in no-till adoption got a shot in the arm when struggling Brazilian farmers saw the practice as a means to address sky-high fuel bills from the 1970s oil crisis.

Throughout the region of Brazil’s Northern Paraná area, slowly some farmers showed at least some curiosity about how no-till worked. The researchers were also curious.The No-Till History series is made possible by Calmer Corn Heads.

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Your No-Till History

John Franz & the Glyphosate Discovery

With no prior cropping knowledge, John Franz was an unlikely candidate to change farming’s fortunes

This installment of “Your No-Till History” expands upon a 1-page article that appeared in June 2022. The No-Till History series is made possible by Calmer Corn Heads.

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Your No-Till History

Latin America Becomes Global Power via No-Till

50 years ago, after a washout storm, a study of worldwide possibilities & a fact-finding trip, two ‘Crazy Germans’ ushered no-till into Latin America where’s it’s practiced on 70% of acres today.
Special to No-Till Farmer, featuring excerpts from The Legacy of Herbert Bartz: the No-Tillage Pioneer, by Wilhan Santin, with contributions from Rafael Silvaro, Marie Luise Carolina Bartz, Johann Bartz, Donald Reicosky, Dirceu Gassen, Jônadan Ma and Heidrun Kronenberg. The No-Till History series is made possible by Calmer Corn Heads.
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