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No-Till 101 — field day goes back to the basics

When University of Tennessee researchers demonstrated no-till planting at the first Milan No-Till Field Day, most farmers in attendance were unfamiliar with this “ugly farming” method. But as years went by, and no-till technology advanced, more producers recognized its benefits, and by the turn of the century, a majority of Tennessee farmers were no-tillers.

As Tennessee producers have become increasingly knowledgeable about no-till production, the focus of the field day has shifted from teaching the basics to sharing more advanced research in multiple areas of crop production. However, event organizers say they are getting back to fundamentals this year by offering a tour that will cover the basic concepts of no-till farming.

“We have visitors from across the country and around the world who have never seen no-till farming but want to learn how to use it in their operation,” says Dr. Blake Brown, director, UT AgResearch and Education Center at Milan. “So a tour that covers the key principles of no-till will serve them well.”

The tour is titled “No-Till Basics” and will cover some of the fundamental concepts like residue management, planter setup and pest management. This tour will be located immediately behind the No-Till Crop Variety Demonstrations and will be held at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. The complete tour will require one hour.

“No-Till Basics” is one of 17 research tours taking place at this year’s No-Till Field Day scheduled for Thursday, July 26. Event registration begins at 6 a.m. with tours starting at 7 a.m. The final tours of the day will be available at 1 p.m.

A complete tour report will soon be available online at

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