Dr. Morris Bitzer receives a plaque commemorating
the 2003 "S. H. Phillips Distinguished Lecture
in No-Till Agriculture" from
Dr. Michael Barrett, Chair
of the Department of Agronomy

The University of Kentucky Department of Agronomy asked Dr. Morris Bitzer to present the 2003 S.H. Phillips Distinguished Lecture in No-Till Agriculture. The invited lecture honors a member of the agricultural community who has promoted no-till agriculture in Kentucky and around the world.

Dr. Bitzer served as the Grain Crops Extension Specialist for 31 years. During his tenure, Dr. Bitzer conducted no-till research in 87 of the 120 Kentucky counties. He was the first to have no-till crops production in 15 of those counties.

Kentucky no-tillage acres currently comprise 49% of the total crop acres, which leads the nation. Tennessee, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, and Delaware follow Kentucky in percentage of no-tillage acres.

Even though no-till agriculture is very popular in Kentucky corn and soybean operations, Dr. Bitzer acknowledged that no-till planting practices were first employed by U.K. faculty in forages. In addition, Dr. Bitzer thanked his predecessor, Dr. Shirley Phillips, for laying the groundwork for no-till grain crops production.

Dr. Bitzer helped start the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and has been an advocate for renewable fuels such as ethanol made from corn.

Dr. Bitzer is currently on a research appointment within the Department of Agronomy. He also serves as the president of the National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association.