Tillage, once the standby for killing pests and weeds on crop farms, is once again gaining ground, following a 10-year slump in tillage-equipment sales.

Although no figures are available publicly, those in the industry tell us that tillage-equipment sales are up considerably, reaching their highest volumes in 10 years. Strong sales are reported across most categories of tillage equipment, particularly vertical tillage implements, primary tools such as disks, and combination tools, including disk rippers and disk chisels.

“Obviously, the tillage industry is seeing substantial growth, well beyond historical volumes,” says Patrick Sikora, tillage marketing manager for John Deere. “Last year the industry saw record demand, and this year might even top that. With the recent increase in rainfall in the northern plains, along with increasing crop residue that’s making it tougher to manage, we’re seeing tillage come into areas that have been no-till or minimum-till for several decades.”

Other companies report the same demand, which they expect will continue through 2012. And buyers coming back will have a whole new generation of tools from which to choose.