A video on sustainable tillage practices for vegetable farms

2007 Annual Report for ENE06-097

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $99,504.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $14,229.00
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Dr. Vern Grubinger
University of Vermont

A video on sustainable tillage practices for vegetable farms


This project produced a 45-minute video (DVD) called 'Vegetable Farmers and the Sustainable Tillage Practices that captures a range of sustainable tillage practices that promote soil health on vegetable farms. The practices represent alternatives to widely-used aggressive tillage tools such as rotovators, heavy disks, and/or plows. The intent is to distribute this educational video to assist agricultural service providers with promoting alternative tillage tools and strategies, the benefits they offer, and how to best use them.

The video features 9 commercial and research farms in 5 northeastern states that demonstrate and explain sustainable tillage practices. Topics covered include: introduction to sustainable tillage, soil spader, no-till mulch system, chisel plow plus field cultivator, conventional no-till, zone-till research, zone-till on the farm, ridge-till research, ridge-till on the farm.

Editing, duplication and packaging of the video was completed in spring of 2007. Distibution has been ongoing and a database of recipients is being maintained so follow up evaluation can take place in 2008. Ordering information is at:

Objectives/Performance Targets

Of the 400 agricultural service providers that receive the sustainable tillage video, 200 will use it in their programs, reaching at least 2,000 farmers.


Many hours of raw footage were edited down to a 45-minute final version of the video 'Vegetable Farmers and the Sustainable Tillage Practices.' Artwork and text were developed for the cover and DVD. 1000 copies of the 45-minute DVD with 9 chapters were produced. Availability of free copies of the video for agricultural service providers was announced via SARE PDP listserves in each of the 4 SARE regions. A database was set up to collect information on recipients so follow up evaluation can take place in 2008 to verify the performance target.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Approximately 200 videos have been distributed to date; additional promotion efforts are underway via industry publications and at commercial grower conferences.

The video will be shown as part of the Empire State Fruit and Vegetable Expo program in Syracuse New York (2/14/07); and will also be promoted as part of the Connecticut Vegetable Growers Annual Meeting (1/24/07.