Nuts and bolts of WANTFA
Severe wind erosion on sandy soils, and water erosion and structural damage to loamy soils, initially motivated farmers to learn no-till sowing from each other.
WA No-Tillage Farmers Association (WANTFA) was formed in 1992 and has since grown to 1,370 members Australia-wide.
WANTFA has management and administration services provided by John Duff and Associates and employs two full-time scientific officers, Bill Crabtree and Matt Beckett, with support from the GRDC and AGWEST.
The scientific officers trouble-shoot for no-till systems, suggesting technologies such as mixing clay into water-repellent sandy soil or considering raised beds where no-till has made the soil profile too wet in high-rainfall regions.
Most active in Western Australia, WANTFA holds field days, seminars and an annual conference in late February to convey information to farmers. It also produces a 20-page full colour newsletter up to five times a year.
WANTFA is networked to scientists globally and organises overseas study tours plus annual local seminars.
(See story opposite for some insights from South America, a highlight of the most recent conference.)
USA farmer David Dukes' Iowa property has been no-till since 1990. Mr Dukes (seen here in photo below) is apt to wear his allegiance on his belt for the right occasion. During a conference field day, the visiting Eisenhower Fellow indulged a photographer who thought it would make an ideal backdrop for the name tags of WANTFA'S new president Neil Young and Scientific Office Bill Crabtree.
WANTFA has been productive largely because of a high level of farmer involvement. The committee,
Region North, South, West