Bringing Pennsylvania’s Successful No-Till Farmers Together
This was the former website for the PA No-Till Alliance. Content below is from their 2008 archived pages.
When my daughter was home recently during a school break it turned out that she was writing a paper about the benefits of no-till farming for a conservation class. After dinner we were in the living room and she was telling us that no-till farming is a tremendous step forward for agriculture. At a time when fertile topsoil is being worn away by wind and water at rates that are figured in tons per acre per year, a drastic new soil-conservation measure, such as no-till is being practiced by a number if US farmers. As she was about to explain the list of environmental benefits that no-till farming boasts over conventional practices, our two cats decided it was time to do some feline ninja moves that resulted in their knocking over a cafe with red wine, spilling its contents allover an antique area rug. I rushed to get rags to soak up the wine, my daughter scooped up the cats to prevent them from tracking any wine paw prints onto more of the rug, and my while went to her phone and looked up the carpet cleaning company we use annually. Thank goodness we didn't have to do a google search for carpet cleaning NYC and have to hire a company we knew nothing about. The company we use not only comes to the house to steam clean our wall to wall carpet, but they also handle area rugs and clean and rewstore oriental rugs at their state of the art facility. My wife left a message and the next day the carpet was wisked away for cleaning. The following week it was returned looking like it had never sustained a wine stain. My daughter received an A on her paper about no-till farming and we learned that beyond no-till farming's ability to create a more natural soil that retains nutrients and water, prevents soil erosion, and compacts less, the no-till technique also offers a number of immediate financial advantages to the farmer. When I saw that this domain was availble I decided to buy it with the goal I reconstructing a page from the site's archived content. The more people understand and practice no-till farming techniques, the better it will be for our planet.
For their current PA No-Till Alliance website go to: www.panotill.org
Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
116 Pine Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Increasing fuel prices, scarcity of labor, and terrific new market opportunities have producers scratching their heads and sharpening their pencils. Some are considering continuous no-till as a management practice that can increase their return on investment by lowering fuel, labor and equipment input costs.
The PA No-Till Alliance was formed by a group of like -minded producers that have used no-till systems in their operations and know the many benefits it has to offer. The Alliance is based on the following guiding principles:
Vision: “Using No-Till Systems to Improve our Soil Quality, Productivity and Profitability for Future Generations”
Mission: “To promote the successful application of no-till through shared ideas, experiences, education and new technology.”
PA No-Till Alliance Objectives:
- Bring together individuals with common goals
- Develop a network for communication between no-tillers
- Increase public awareness of the benefits of no-till crop production
- Share no-till ideas, equipment innovations and field-proven technology
- Identify and promote needed research for no-till systems
- Assist researchers with on-farm research and no-till production demonstrations
- Serve as a collective voice for issues affecting agricultural and no-till systems
- Promote no-till crop production systems
Alliance Members Include
- No-Till Producers
- Agri-business representatives and lending institutions
- Crop advisors and consultants
- Support from local, state and federal agencies/institutions
- Be a part of a growing network of people realizing the benefits of no-till agriculture
- Learn about existing and new no-till field research
- Enjoy opportunities to share information with other no-tillers
- Gain increased access to no-till publications and websites
- Receive notice of no-till training, field days and producer demonstrations statewide
PA Farmers Get Ready to REAP
No-Till adoption in Pennsylvania is poised to take a dramatic step forward thanks to the combined efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the State Conservation Commission (SCC), the PA No-till Alliance and numerous other Ag and civic organizations, with legislation passed in July 2007 called the Resource Enhancement and Protection Act (a.k.a. REAP), an innovative tax incentive program designed to encourage conservation practices that reduce erosion and sedimentation impacting our streams and watersheds.
Any farmer in the state can participate in this first-come, first-serve program which makes available $10 million in PA state tax credits to farmers that implement approved conservation practices after October 23, 2007. Approved practices include developing conservation and nutrient management plans, improving barnyards to reduce run-off, installing Riparian buffers along streams, and other conservation "best management practices" (BMPs) including the purchase of no-till planting equipment.
The Alliance played an active role in helping legislators understand how no-till adoption will enhance the positive impact REAP has on improving water quality, and with the SCC to develop the guidelines of the program relevant to no-till.
REAP provides state tax credits equal to 25% - 50% of the cost of approved practices, up to $150,000 per agricultural operation (no-till planting equipment qualifies for a 50% credit) . Tax credits can be used for up to 15 years or they can be sold to other parties that have state tax liability (after 1 year). REAP also has a provision that allows businesses to sponsor projects in exchange for the tax credit, reducing the producers up front cost by the amount of the tax credit.
To qualify for REAP, agricultural operations must meet the following requirements:
- have a current conservation plan, a current Ag E&S plan, and a nutrient management plan (if required). The costs of developing these plans may be included in the application.
- operations with animal concentration areas (ACA) must have implemented BMP’s to reduce run-off and pollution from the
ACA, or the cost of implementing the necessary BMP’s must be included in the application.
- uncompleted BMP’s from an existing Ag E&S plan or nutrient mgmt. plan must first include plans to complete those BMP’s in the application.
“REAP is a tremendous opportunity for PA producers interested in no-till to get the equipment they need to be successful” according to Jeff McClellan - PA No-Till Alliance Coordinator. “REAP effectively cuts the net cost of new or reconditioned no-till planting equipment in half. Whether you’re thinking of making the move to no-till or just want to upgrade your existing no-till equipment to do a better job, you’re not likely to find a better deal than this.”