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Agricultural News

More and More Producers Turning Toward No-Till Systems as Benefits Become Increasingly Evident

Fri, 27 Jul 2018 12:08:49 CDT

More and More Producers Turning Toward No-Till Systems as Benefits Become Increasingly Evident The US Department of Agriculture’s Southern Plains Climate Hub, in partnership with Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., recently launched a new podcast to reach out to Oklahoma’s conservation community and those in surrounding areas with timely and useful information that farmers and producers might incorporate into their own operations.

During the latest episode of the Southern Plains Podcast, host and USDA Southern Plains Climate Hub Coordinator Clay Pope visits with Steve Swaffer, executive director of No-Till on the Plains, a 501c3 non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide education and networking on agricultural production systems that model nature. Steve talks about his organization, the role no-till and cover crops play in helping ag producers deal with extreme weather events and how No-Till on the Plains is working to educate farmers and ranchers on the benefits of soil health.

Currently, Swaffer says his organization and its members are really focusing right now on promoting the benefits of soil health and how to properly develop that through a true systems approach.

“Soil is an ecosystem and we have to understand it’s a living, dynamic thing. It’s really more about soil and less about the practices. We’re trying to as best we can, mimic Mother Nature with the way crops are being produced,” Swaffer said. “It starts with a lack of tillage, direct seeding, using crop rotation - growing more than one crop and making sure there’s diversity on your farm. And, of course having a living root in that soil. And as the prairie was developed with a grazing animal out there we try to mimic that as well.”

If a farmer adopts these practices, Swaffer says not only will they enjoy less soil erosion, they will also notice an increase in the water infiltration of their soil which overtime will reduce the need to irrigate the land. In addition, farmers will see the build-up of carbon reserves and organic material in their soil that helps feed plants and sustain a healthy ecosystem. Swaffer says more and more people are turning to no-till farming as the benefits of this system become more and more evident with increased adoption.

“That’s what we’ve seen, throughout the years,” he remarked. “As producers are looking for more information, don’t be afraid to come to No-Till on the Plains. That’s where you’re going to find the producers who are teaching and learning from each other. I think there is a real opportunity for the ag community to teach itself.”

Listen to this week’s full episode of the Southern Plains Podcast, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.



Listen to this week's full episode of the Southern Plains Podcast by clicking the LISTEN BAR, below.
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