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No-Till Farming Market in the U.S.: A 10-Year Study into the Practice & Trends

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As the emphasis on soil health/protection and machinery/labor costs have intensified in recent years, so too has the interest in no-till farming. This conservation practice, first commercialized in Western Kentucky in 1962 to address severe soil erosion, leaves the soil essentially undisturbed and with a layer of crop residue to protect it, and eliminates tillage passes for fuel, equipment and labor-savings.

The Equipment Manufacturers Institute (now the Assn. of Equipment Manufacturers), noted “No-till planting is the single most innovative cultural practice to be widely adopted in agriculture since the mid-1960s.”

No-till has seen considerable growth in the U.S. since the early 1970s when the practice was used on only 3.3 million U.S. acres. According to the last USDA Census of Agriculture no-till was practiced on 104 million acres in 2017. Current estimates put 2021 no-till acreage at 110 million acres. 

The practice is poised for further growth due to its carbon-friendly advantages, especially if food, fuel and fabric producers begin to specify the farm practices of the commodities they purchase.

Additionally, no-till farming and conservation agriculture will receive nearly $23 billion in additional U.S. government funding over the next 5 years, a “once-in-a-lifetime investment into conservation,” according to USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Terry Cosby. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed Aug. 16, 2022, designates $20 billion for the NRCS. Another $2.8 billion will come from the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program, a USDA program that finances pilot projects supporting the production and marketing of “climate-smart” commodities.

This multi-billion dollar investment into conservation ag will undoubtedly raise awareness for the benefits of no-till farming and drive adoption in the U.S. It’s more important now than ever that dealers and manufacturers understand no-till farming, what it can do for their customers and the potential demand for equipment it will create on the heels of these investments.

To provide insight into this continuously growing segment of the ag market, Ag Equipment Intelligence has compiled the last 10 years of data — licensed from decades of No-Till Farmer’s annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Studies — into one comprehensive market report. 

For March 2023, the report is now newly updated to include data from No-Till Farmer’s 15th Operational Benchmark Studies, including no-tillers’ forecasts for 2023.

The report analyzes how growers’ no-till operations have changed and trended over the last 10 years, including insight into no-tillers':

  • Equipment ownership and usage
  • Equipment purchasing plans
  • Cover crop practices, including application and termination methods and equipment
  • Yields and acreage
  • Crop input practices and usage
  • Operating expenses
  • And much more, including several never-before published figures
  • View Complete Table of Contents

The insights from this report will help your business understand how to further penetrate this growing market and what no-tillers are looking for from their equipment manufacturers, dealers, ag retailers and others. For any company looking to expand its reach and influence into conservation agriculture, this report is a must-have business intelligence tool for understanding the no-till space.



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