USDA report shows continued adoption of no-till

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Farmers have choices for how they prepare the soil; reduce weed growth; incorporate fertilizer, manure and organic matter into the soil; and seed their crops, including the number of tillage operations and tillage depth.

Tillage practices affect soil carbon, water pollution, and farmers' energy and pesticide use.

No-till is generally the least intensive form of tillage.

Approximately 35 percent of U.S. cropland (88 million acres) planted to eight major crops had no-till operations in 2009, according to ERS researchers who estimated tillage trends based on 2000-07 data from USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

Furthermore, the use of no-till increased over time for corn, cotton, soybeans, rice and wheat, the crops for which the ARMS data were sufficient to calculate a trend.

While a more recent estimate of nationwide use of no-till by all major crop producers is not available, based on the results of recent surveys of wheat producers in 2009 and corn producers in 2010, it seems likely that no-till's use continues to spread, albeit at a much reduced pace among corn producers.


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Tom McCullough    
MO  |  June, 14, 2013 at 09:13 AM

It is expanding in part because NRCS is paying producers to do it through EQUIP. No-till is still a form of tillage if you run coulters on your drill or planter.

Dan    
Ohio  |  June, 15, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Wish "Soil and Water " would get their act together. For 25 years wanted us to no till to conserve soil and water, now say no till is why we have more P runoff and we should till our manure in. But do not compact soil because it decreases water absorption and retention so do not get on soil in springuntil ground is very dry and too late to plat crops for best return. But do not haul manure in winter on frozen ground in case we have a 4 inch rainfall and all manure washes in the creek. Is it any wonder why we are skeptical of the "experts" at Soil and Water office


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