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Why till, anyway?

By Staff | Dec 27, 2013

To the editor,

I was delighted that Bruce Voigts’ letter “Outrageous tillage” was published (Dec. 20 issue), and, as an added benefit, it was done Shakespearian style.

I’ve never been a big fan of Shakespeare – I don’t understand his style of writing. Is it prose? Poetry?

It doesn’t matter because I like Bruce’s style in relating the message I’ve been preaching for 25 years.

To till or not to till, that is the question. Let’s look at the facts.

Tillage is, indeed, outrageous. It’s also destructive, devastating, damaging, unnecessary, polluting, wasteful, unsustainable, costly, compacting and (something you folks in the “green organic” crowd should know) the major agriculture contributor of CO2 – a greenhouse gas.

OK. Now the question,”Why?”

A). To break-up compaction (caused by a previous tillage pass)? Mother Nature is much more efficient with the freezing and thawing cycles.

B). To release CO2 and nutrients for crop use in the fall?

C). To bury crop residue? Is your object to maximize wind and water erosion?

My guess is you tillers are getting hot under the collar by now, but this next statement will put you over the edge.

Mother Nature has never created a soil anywhere that requires tillage for successful crop production.

Here’s a little ditty to contemplate as you’re looking for the perfect weapon:

If you continue to till

What is the probability you will

have enough soil on the hill

to continue to pay the bill.

It’s not Shakespeare, but what else would you expect from a no-tiller.

Jerry Crew


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