Minimum tillage practices have significant potential to reduce expenses and the potential negative environmental effects caused by intensive tillage operations. Conventional tillage practices require heavy machinery to work and groom the soil surface in preparation for the planter. The immediate advantage of reduced tillage for the farm operator is less fuel expense, equipment, time, and labor required. It’s also clear that intensive tillage potentially increases nutrient and soil losses to our surface waterways. By turning the soil and burying surface residue, more soil particles are likely to detach from the soil surface and increase the potential for run off from agricultural fields. Reducing the amount and intensity of tillage can help build soil structure and reduce soil erosion.
Vermont, University of Vermont
Darby, Heather; Calderwood, Lily; Cummings, Erica; Emick, Hillary; Gupta, Abha; Post, Julian; and Ziegler, Sara, "Reduced Tillage Corn Trial" (2015). Northwest Crops & Soils Program. 158.