- Author: Jeffrey P. Mitchell
June 17, 2023
CASI's Mitchell visits Low Desert no-tiller, Dr. Henri Carter MD, June 17, 2023!
Jeff Mitchell paid a very early morning visit in Yuma, AZ to the farm of retired surgeon and now no-till farmer, Dr. Henri Carter MD on Saturday, June 17, 2023, to learn about the very innovative efforts that he has been pursuing during the past several years. The visit was planned for quite some time and provided a very nice chance for Mitchell to meet Dr. Carter and to see up close and personal just what he has been up to with his no-till farming endeavors. The visit was recorded as a video case study that Mitchell will compile on innovative no-till farmers as part of a USDA NRCS project on establishing a no-till network in California.
Dr. Carter has an interesting background and evolution toward the work that he is now conducting. He started out as a student of agricultural science at Arizona State University and worked not only on his family's farm in the Yuma area when he was growing up, but also in many related jobs on farms and in packing sheds for cantaloupes, lettuce, hay, and other crops. Then, after he had the opportunity to go to medical school, he returned to Yuma where he dedicated his career to work as a trauma surgeon which was most gratifying for him. Now retired from surgery, he bought farming/range acreage just north of the confluence of the Gila and Colorado rivers where he showed Mitchell what he is trying to do in conjunction with a project he has with Arizona's Game and Fish Department to provide access to hunters on his property using the permanent cover and no-till approaches that he is pioneering. He showed Mitchell blocks of no-till, quite high surface residue sunflower and cowpeas that he successfully established this year after a number of bouts with trial and error learning.
While not the usual crop context in which we tend to imagine no-till applications, what Dr. Carter is doing is nonetheless quite intriguing and interesting.
More to come soon once the video on maverick farmers and the unusual things they're doing in CA and AZ is released!