Gary Martin - 2012
Gary Martin is the manager of Pikalok Farming, a 1570-acre diversified farm in Firebaugh, CA. He has been a true pioneer in the development of minimum tillage practices for cotton which he began over 18 years ago – before much of the more recent interest in these approaches became popular and more widespread. The approaches that he has refined reduce the total number of operations and passes over a field significantly and have also resulted in considerable savings in labor and fuel. Gary has been a stalwart CT Workgroup member and contributor for a number of years and is ever-ready to share his experience and innovations with others.
Gary and the family partners and crew at Pikalok have made truly stunning advances in cotton tillage management through sheer persistence, innovation and hard-earned experience. Early on, they experimented with a number of ‘pass combining’ implements for reducing overall tillage for cotton systems and during this time they have pretty much perfected a state-of-the-art very minimum pass sequence of operations with equipment they designed and modified. Their post-harvest cotton stalk management and bed preparation operations now rely on a very limited array of relatively light-weight tillage equipment and they have also pioneered systems that deal with or can manage the existence of greater amounts of surface residues, - unlike most conventional cotton farmers.
Gary is always ready to share his experiences with these CT systems and has hosted Workgroup members at Pikalok on a number of occasions. He and his wife, Mari, are frequent contributors to CASI meetings in Five Points and he was recently featured in the CASI video “The Value of Residues,” which is now being featured at our website.
The accomplishments of Gary Martin at Pikalok Farming have been significant and profound advances in improved tillage management in California cotton production systems. He is most deserving of recognition by our Workgroup as the 2012 CT Farmer Innovator.