no-till is a failure for some
- Subject: [cg] no-till is a failure for some
- From: Minifarms@aol.com
- Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 17:41:33 EST
I have studied no-till farming and farmers that are outside the USA much
more than in the USA because most of my teaching is abroad. Farmers on
200,000,000 acres are no-till. 50% of the land in Argentina is no-till (small
I had a no-till garden for three years until the garden was closed down. The
whole area inside and outside the plots were covered in a perenial weed that
chemicals will not kill but almost none in mine. Every weed on our plot
could be pulled by hand in less than 30 minutes each week. They were so weak a
3 year old could have pulled them up. A cotton farmer here went no-till four
years ago and does not use chemicals. Weeds are not a problem. Stop tilling,
you stop the weeds, he tells me. True in our garden, too.
I was on a farm in Malawi that has been no-till for 25 years.
When I wrote my document "Profitable Crop Farming" here are no. 1 and 2 on
1. Open mind.
2. Willing to make changes [first, in the mind and second, in the
field & pasture]
I have heard before all the arguments many times that are being made that
no-till does not work. In Nigeria I had 220 register farmers and 600 7-12 grade
students. One said to me, "We do not farm that way here." I told them "It
works." If you do not want to garden and farm no-till, that is fine with me.
Your yields are going down and the cost are going up. If you want to
continue farming that way, that is fine with me.
For my part, no-till has been proven over and over and it is not a matter of
debate. When a farmer tells me it failed, what I want to know is how did he
Dripping Springs, AR, said his soil was getting hard to plant it. No
surprise! He was taking out the OM without putting any back in. It is still
occurring but the spader does not care as it is powerful enough to still dig.
Dr. Morrison proved over a 15 year period that a farmer can establish
permanent beds on his farm that are alternating 80" and 100" to accomadate the
wheels of the tractor and harvesting equipment and increase the yeild between 10%
and 15%. No agrument and no debate. He closed his research on them. He
told me he got tired of proving something works and few farmers using the idea.
I do not blame him.
Therefore, I teach organic, no-till gardening and farming in permanent beds.
Cuts cost, reduces labor and increases profits while preserving the soil for
generations to come.
I wish that every gardener in America could see the video I have about Ruth
While the cotton farmers here are going over their land with all that
expensive equipment [$75,000 tractor] in the air-conditioned cab, cultivating and
cultivating and cultivating and spraying and spraying and spraying and then
using a moldboard or whatever, the no-till farmer plants with his $15,000
no-till planter and little tractor, goes fishing, reads in the shade of a tree,
etc and then harvests his cotton, plants the winter cover crop and goes south
to warm weather, visits the grandkids, wherever, etc. until time to knock
down the wheat and plants the cotton again so he can fo fishing again.
Have a great day while plowing or digging in the garden,
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