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no-till article in New York Times  RSS feed

 
duane hennon
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Skjoldr Draugarson
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Nice article. I like how they deal with one of the biggest issues - the mindset. Even with concrete evidence, it still boils down to peer pressure [and $$$ of course]. Instead of taking the time needed to do something the right way which will bring increase in the future, that desire for instant gratification and to hell with the damage that is done reigns supreme.

This makes me remember the time I went to a certain feed & seed store to explore what options they had available - the old timers working their literally laughed in my face when I asked about non treated non GMO seed. I was blatantly told that I had no idea what I was doing, that I had to treat the land with this chemical and that, then till in another four additives plus some other garbage then plant treated seed or I would get no crop. They lost my business right quick!
 
Thomas Partridge
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Great article! I was fortunate enough to start gardening only a few years ago and as such I started with no-till gardening.

Skjoldr Draugarson wrote:
This makes me remember the time I went to a certain feed & seed store to explore what options they had available - the old timers working their literally laughed in my face when I asked about non treated non GMO seed. I was blatantly told that I had no idea what I was doing, that I had to treat the land with this chemical and that, then till in another four additives plus some other garbage then plant treated seed or I would get no crop. They lost my business right quick!


I see this all the time and not always from those who have being doing things the "traditional way" for decades. There seems to be this mentality in all forms of agriculture (including modern homesteaders) that there is a single way to do things and that if you don't do it that way you will fail. We recently posted our design for a seed starting station and even after explaining how we planned to use it and that we understood it wouldn't work quite as well as a system that cost 4-5 times more, we were told by three different people that it would not work well at all. A few weeks later our seedlings are doing better than I have ever had them do before.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Nice, since the 1980's there has been a growing movement pushing for less tilling of soils, the No-till and holistic farming movements are just now showing real gains in the number of farmers changing over to more profitability through less fuel and fertilizer used.
I expect to see these movements gain momentum year after year since it is only by one farmer showing another up with better yields and more money in the bank that these traditional farmers see the light and give our methods a try. Of course if they stick with it for four or five years, they never go back to the old methods simply because they are getting better yields and spending less money than they ever did before.

Money talks big in the farming world, most go broke because they spend any profit on fuel, fertilizers, herbicides and new machinery. Once you get them to see that they don't need to spend anywhere near what they used to spend, they come around pretty quickly and then stick with the new "what works best".
 
Dan Grubbs
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We are getting closer to the early adopters convincing more of the early majority to make a change. Maybe we just might cross the chasm.

Dan Grubbs wrote:

I think broadacre farmers are no different that any other people. If you've ever read the business book "Crossing the Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore you will see one creative way to think about the problem Cassie brings up. Farmers will not listen to permaculture advocates in general. But farmers do fit into the same categories that Moore identified (see graph). I believe we are at the innovator state of adoption. The fact that many of us are mentioning the same people as the shining examples is a key indicator that we have not reached the stage of moving to the early adopters. As Doherty, Shepard, Lawton, Salatin, Savory, Holtzer, Wheaton, etc., continue doing what they're doing and we continue to support and spread the news, we will make it across the small gap to create some momentum by numbers as early adopters. We will have powerful forces against this, as you know.

It's the jump from early adopters to early majority that is where we will see positive changes in the anthropocene take place. Early majority people won't blindly accept the word of someone who is a mouthpiece for the thing to be adopted, nor do they usually accept the testimony of the innovators. However, they will consider as valuable and trustworthy the testimony of the early adopters because they are people just like them. In order to cross this chasm, innovators must leverage the testimony of the early adopters to sway the early majority (industrial farmers). It will be the clients of Judy, Doherty, Shepard who are the neighbors down the road from another farmer who will convince this second farmer to adopt a new approach.

One could argue that Greg Judy and Joel Salatin are the first wave of the early adopters because their farming peers are seeing their operational success and are beginning to mimic their practices, or what Moore describes as adoption. But, it will be the unnamed, not famous everyday farmer that takes a leap of faith and lands on regenerative agriculture success that will sway others more effectively than a famous name. Here's an illustration: the names we are giving Cassie ... they are the equivalent to the people who camp out overnight on the sidewalk outside the Apple store to get the new iPhone (innovators). They have their own reasons for doing it. Then, the people who are willing to take a risk, do a bit of their own research on the right phone and read product reviews, these are the early adopters and will buy the iPhone based on that. They may or may not be influenced by an innovator. Now, as a bit of time and trial goes on, those who wait to see that others are using the latest iPhone with satisfaction and they know X number of people with them and see them around in use, only then they will buy the latest iPhone in mass quantities (these are the early majority).

 
duane hennon
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a dam will hold back water until it doesn't
first a damp spot on the wall
then a trickle

<http://naturalsociety.com/record-us-farmers-switching-non-gmo-crops-2015/>
Record US Farmers Switching to Non-GMO Crops in 2015




 
Bryant RedHawk
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Good point there Duane,

with so many other countries adopting the non-GMO edicts, the US farmer that goes along with planting GMO seed automatically limits his available markets to those of the USA only. This means his crop price will be lower than those who can have their crops marketed all over the world. It also means that since GMO plants require certain fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides the cost of production is higher than non GMO crops. The effect for the GMO grower is a double loss instead of any gain at all.
 
Skjoldr Draugarson
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Perhaps this is the damp spot on Monsanto...
 
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