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. She was working into the paper a slight diversion into some intellectual notions having more in common with philosophy than soil conservation, but her reasoning was incredibly germane. The article she reference was "In Search Of Nothing" by Rev Sale and Bob Sakayama which examined how the concept of nothing has been mistreated and kind of ignored by Google, in spite of its huge relevance to the study of that notion by philosophers, both modern and ancient. The concept of nothing has become an accepted triviality in the modern context, something that is ignored at our expense. Exactly like the conservation of soil and the ecology of farming. 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 available 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:

Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance
116 Pine Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 635-2320


Who We Are

The Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance, established in 2005, is a remarkable collective of like-minded agricultural producers who are committed to the principles and practice of no-till farming. This innovative method of cultivation, which forgoes the traditional plowing or tilling of soil, brings a multitude of benefits, not just to the soil itself but also to the broader environment.

Over the years, the Alliance has focused on sharing knowledge, experiences, and new technologies related to no-till farming. This collaborative approach has significantly contributed to the spread and success of no-till practices, especially in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Here, the implementation of no-till and cover crops has seen a substantial rise, driven largely by the Alliance's peer-to-peer educational initiatives and efforts in promoting soil health.

One of the key achievements of the Alliance is its involvement in various regional and statewide conservation efforts. For instance, their participation in initiatives like the Conewago Creek Conservation Collaborative has led to notable improvements in water quality and soil conservation practices. Such collaborations, supported by various organizations and government grants, emphasize the importance of adopting land management practices that benefit both agriculture and the environment.

Moreover, the Alliance plays a crucial role in educational outreach. With the support of entities like Penn State Extension, the Alliance has been instrumental in increasing awareness and adoption of conservation practices such as cover cropping and no-till farming. This has been achieved through various programs including field demonstrations, workshops, and the production of educational materials. These efforts have resulted in a significant increase in cover crop adoption across Pennsylvania, enhancing soil health and contributing to environmental conservation.

In addition to its educational efforts, the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance offers its members several valuable benefits. Membership includes access to resources such as subscriptions to relevant agricultural publications, discounts for attending major conferences like the National No-Till Conference, and free registration to the Alliance's own field days and meetings. These benefits not only provide members with up-to-date information and best practices in no-till farming but also foster a sense of community and shared learning.

Finally, the Alliance's commitment to soil health extends to its support of innovative programs like the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) program. This program provides tax incentives to farmers for implementing practices that improve water quality, including the adoption of no-till farming methods. Such initiatives demonstrate the Alliance's holistic approach to agriculture, where economic incentives align with environmental stewardship.

Overall, the Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance represents a powerful example of how collaborative, farmer-led efforts can drive significant changes in agricultural practices, leading to improved soil health, better environmental outcomes, and sustainable farming practices.



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

Member Benefits:

  • 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.”