Sunday, February 14, 2010


Tomorrow the mission starts. Try to explain how and why we notill and why New Zealand might want to look at it.

I helped one Kiwi start no-tilling 4 years ago and he is one of the few in the country and the only one who does it like I do.

One pass strip till with no coulter. His soil is improving already and looks very good.

Still, few will want to change and why and how should they?

I have the ideas if I can communicate them.

I see clearly now why dad and I started notilling in 1976. Our soil was going south, literally and we never could plant on time working the ground so much. Livestock suffered when we tended corn.

So we made the bold move and rented a brand new White 5100 and planted corn. We were so ignorant, we didn't even close the open slot the seed was in. God smiled on us and it rained on the seed and every one of them came up.

I still have a 5100 but it looks nothing like the one we used. The coulters are gone, it has Martin row cleaners, a Case IH gauge wheel tire, Keeton seed firmers, Martin spiked closing wheels and 40 inch drag chains. The closing wheels are nothing but the residue cleaners mounted just backwards of the row cleaners to lightly till and close the seed trench.

That planter plants corn. 245 bu per acre in 2004, the first year on our new farm.

It saves soil, oil and toil. It makes more net profit. It frees up time for other chores. The soil gets better every year.

The Kiwi's don't have erosion but they can stop their soil degradation, build their soil back to good condition and gain all the other benefits.

Now if I can just communicate that over the next two weeks....


1 comment:

  1. "Delightful. I was reminded of my days on the farm, pioneering new farm practices while in the FFA in the early 1940's, farming three hundred acres with a team of horses and one tractor. My dad had a bulk milk route, leaving me pretty much in charge of the farming operation, or at least I thought so.

    Anyway I remember telling him I wanted to put strips on one portion of the farm where we had an erosion problem, and he just said, go ahead, and we became the first farmers in Butler County to try strip farming. Turned out to be a huge success and he continued it all the way into the seventies when he retired. It has to be a very rewarding experience teaching new farming practices. Are they pretty receptive to new ideas?
    I was also reminded that during all the travel I did, promoting community development, in twenty eight countries on four continents, I never went on organized sight seeing tours.

    I enjoyed just meeting strangers and exchanging ideas with them. I had discovered, very early while attending world congesses with representaitives from as many as 85 countries that you can communicate with anyone, if you have the desire to do so. We would sometimes be sitting around a table at lunch or dinner with any number of persons with varied languages and by the time the meal was over we all knew what occupation we all were in, how many children, hobbies, etc. All perceieved through the use of words and phrases, sign language, pictures drawn on napkins and lots of laughter. Those were memorable moments.

    Two years of Latin helped me figure out a lot of foreign words, even if tedious, but fun. I envy you. Enjoy yourself"