No-Till Gaining Acceptance on the Plains

No-Till on the Plains executive director, Steve Swaffar, spoke with California Foodshed Funders members in fall of 2017 about the impetus and accessibility of no-till farming for large-scale commodity crop growers across the Midwest. The largest barrier? Cultural.

It simply is not acceptable to have rubble, for example, sitting on your field over winter. So what is helping convert farmer after farmer to more regenerative practices of crop rotation, constant plant matter in fields, no-till and eventually leading to the reincorporation of animals on land? Economics.

What Jimmy Emmons, Gabe Brown, and others have learned - and are sharing - is that a farm can multiply the viability of its books and its soil, by diversifying its model. Read the recap of No-Till on the Plains conference written by Twilight Greenaway of Civil Eats. Here she dissects the nuances that are quietly converting farmers in the Midwest and beyond to be the soil building, carbon sequestering and diversification land stewards of yesteryear.

This work is relevant, and replicable, here in California even though the cropping systems are different. For example, there is a great opportunity in shifting rangeland, tree nut production, and vineyards to no-till, diversified cropping systems. Various efforts are underway, but California has yet to see the scale and scope of outreach and education as significant as No-Till on the Plains.

If you are a funder in California and are interested in learning more about the positive impact of regenerative farming and no-till, please contact us and we will connect you with the best resources available. Email us at for more info.

CA Foodshed Funders