Climate Smart Farming Resource

Reduced Vegetable Tillage Case Studies


The Reduced Tillage Vegetables Project aims to increase the profitable use of reduced tillage systems for vegetables grown in the cooler climates of the upper Northeast of the United States.

The project team, in cooperation with the Cornell Soil Health Team, focuses on overcoming some of the challenges inherent in adopting reduced tillage systems, and demonstrate that these systems improve soil quality, maintain yields, and reduce costs.

Part of the Reduced Tillage project involves the documentation of case studies on different growers who have successfully transitioned to reduced tillage in the Northeastern United States. Reduced Tillage is particularly challenging in the cooler Northeast due to the low soil temperature in the spring, equipment demands and weed control measures. The growers whose profiles can be reviewed below have overcome several operational challenges inherent in practicing reduced tillage in the Northeast. For many, the transition has taken several years of dedication and hard work to make the system work.


  • Donn Branton
    1500 acres in vegetables and field crops. Established reduced tillage farm
  • George Ayres
    620 acres in both vegetables and field crops with established zone-tillage practice
  • Gary Sweet
    150 acres retail sweet corn
  • Lynn Fish
    200 acres diversified vegetable farm transitioning to zone tillage starting 2004