Ron Rayner and his A-Tumbling-T Ranches received the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Environmental Stewardship Award at a recent awards ceremony.
The Environmental Stewardship Award is given to individuals who demonstrate outstanding environmental stewardship and conservation through projects for agricultural operations.
For 15 years, Rayner hasutilizeda no-till system to grow wheat and cotton on his operation in Goodyear, Ariz. (Maricopa County). It took about five years to get good results but now other farmers are looking seriously at utilizing his system.
Rayner uses no plow, no ripper, and no disc. In an interview with Western Farm Press, Rayner said the only true tillage done is to run a shallow ripper down the cotton plant line to rip up the stalks.
The Rayners have already achieved what many farmers in the arid area are moving towards.
The system reduces fuel use, the stacked gene cotton plants reduce annual pesticide use, and the wheat straw on top of the soil prevents PM10, a critical environmental issue in Maricopa County.