"To move forward we must learn from the past."
Since the dawn of time mankind has lived from the food, fiber, and fuel that earth has provided. Thousands of years passed without issue. But examination of history has determined that changes must be enacted if civilization as we know it will continue.
"I tell you that the great cities rest upon these broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country."
- William Jennings Bryan
The World's arable lands have been degraded by inadequate farming techniques since the dawn of modern agriculture. In the beginning agriculture simply treated the soil as an infinite resource. Soon it was discovered that this was an incorrect assumption, and erosion began degrading the once fertile fields which were sustaining those populations. It was not a monumental issue at that time. After all, available land was easily accessible and nearby. The land simply needed to be deforested or in the case of grassland, cultivated and put into crop production.
As population grew so did the demand for food, fiber and fuel, placing greater demands on the existing production areas. This led to accelerated degradation of those lands, and erosion polluted the air and water supplies. But even more disastrous was how it changed the efficiency of production. Yields were steadily declining, and providing enough forage for the livestock and wildlife was becoming more difficult to locate and to manage. This resulted in a suffering population: something had to be done.
No-till farming is simply the act of disturbing the soil as little as possible, without tillage, to plant, grow and harvest a crop. No-till agriculture has developed the technology in planting machinery to open a small slot, place the seed and cover the seed and slot back over with soil. Between crops the soil is tilled with the traditional plow, disc, harrow of field cultivator, is is no-till. Minimizing the soil disturbance, one of the soil health principles, helps keep the soil from eroding and doesn't destroy the soil community that is so important to crop success.