History of Conservation Tillage
(project status: ongoing)
The KIS Project started working with Richard Gray, Bernie Sonntag and Wayne Lindwall in June 2008 on a project proposal that would compile a written history of the conservation tillage movement in Western Canada. The lead for the conference portion of this project was KIS Project Coordinator Lynette Keyowski; the book is being managed by Bernie Sonntag, Wayne Lindwall and Kathy Larson.
Despite the fact that the evolution of reduced tillage has been one of the most important technological breakthroughs of the 20th century, the innovation and technology transfer processes that the technology underwent has never been formally examined or documented, neither from an historical perspective, nor as a successful example of innovative knowledge mobilization. While zero-till is well developed, widely adopted, and supporting a major industry, the question remains - where to from here? As zero-till technology potentially enters a new phase, there is interest from both an industry and academic perspective to examine its evolution, not only to see where it has come from, but in fact, where it might be heading next.
Specific activities proposed to accomplish each of the above objectives include:
Academic Research: This initiative is funding one PhD level student (Ms. Lana Awada) to conduct research on an aspect of the conservation tillage movement that has a knowledge mobilization component.
Industry & Academic Conference: A 1-day conference was held in March 2009 and featured invited presentations from those that were instrumental in the development of conservation tillage technology; academic analyses of the innovation and adoption processes of zero till, from past to present; and a consideration of what the future might hold for the technology.
Website Development: A website with videoclips, graphics, and interactive components showcasing the technology of zero till, from its history to current work and future developments. The website will also act as the clearinghouse to facilitate dissemination of conference proceedings, online discussion and collaboration among participants.
Book: The book will share the historical account of the technology's evolution; provide evidence of the technology's benefits and hypothesize on the future uses and benefits of zero-tillage. The book will be a collaborative effort of individuals invited to contribute chapters or part of chapters for the book.
For more information:
Kathy Larson: Click to email Kathy Larson