tillage News

  • Impacts of tillage on soil and crops

    The increasing popularity of reduced tillage on crops has not only been an important development in combating soil erosion, but it has also been associated with increasing organic material and producing high crop yields. For peanut crops, however, reduced tillage has not gained a large acceptance as a viable practice, as findings of inconsistent yields have not encouraged farmers to make a switch ...


    By American Society of Agronomy

  • Can one-time tillage improve no-till?

    A one-time tillage has no adverse effects on yield or soil properties on no-till land, according to field research conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although tillage is another expense for farmers and generally increases the risk of soil erosion, a one-time tillage may be performed to correct some problem, such as a perennial weed problem. The feasibility study was conducted for ...

  • Tillage and reduced-input rotations affect runoff from agricultural fields

    A new study from researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service provides information about runoff under different management practices and can help farmers choose the practice that is best for them. No-till management practices can reduce soil erosion, but evidence suggests they can also lead to increased runoff of dissolved phosphorus from soil surfaces. Meanwhile, farmers looking ...

  • Conservation Tillage Conference March 2-3 Offers Tips for Farmers in Tight Economy

    High input costs coupled with low grain prices anticipated in 2016 means that growers have to make smarter, calculated choices to grow profitable crops this year. Also important is the need to build and maintain healthy soils to help ensure good water quality, said Randall Reeder, a retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer. Reeder is an organizer of the annual Conservation ...


    By Ohio State University

  • No-tillage management of olive groves can improve soil structure while maintaining yield

    Non-conservative tillage techniques, such as milling and harrowing, are the most common way to manage soil in Mediterranean olive orchards. A new study confirms the value of alternative methods based on the use of spontaneous cover crops which can significantly improve soil structure and reduce erosion whilst maintaining yields. The olive tree is one of the most widespread crops in the ...

  • Transitioning to organic farming

    As the organic food trend continues to grow; more farmers are converting from conventional agriculture to organic production. One of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. is the production of organic milk. The growth of this industry has prompted many farmers to transition their land to organic feed grain production. With transition on the rise, it is necessary for these farmers to have ...

  • Preventing soil erosion in continuous corn

    With recent increase in the cost of energy and subsequent explorations into alternative energy sources, the increased harvest of corn residue for cellulosic ethanol production is likely in the future. This may be especially true in fields where corn is grown continuously, in part because perennially high residue amounts favor annual harvests, and also because corn residue left on the soil surface ...

  • Crop performance matters when evaluating GHGs

    Measuring the emission of greenhouse gases from croplands should take into account the crops themselves. That’s the conclusion of a study in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality, which examined the impact of farm practices such as tillage on the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). Expressing emissions per unit of crop yield rather than on a more conventional ...

  • A burning issue in winter wheat production

    Some Pacific Northwest winter wheat producers burn fields to remove straw left after harvest before reseeding. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators have shown that with careful management, this practice does not result in any more soil erosion than other postharvest practices. Continuous winter wheat cropping systems are used in some parts of the Pacific Northwest where ...

  • Deep ploughing reduces diversity and number of earthworms

    Less invasive soil preparation methods in farming, such as harrowing, have a positive impact on the numbers, biomass, and species richness of earthworms, unlike conventional ploughing, according to new research. The long-term study compared the results of five different methods of soil preparation on agricultural land in Germany over a ten-year period. Earthworms play a major role in the ...

  • Organic mulch lets insect pollinators do their job

    As interest in organic agricultural and horticultural practices continues to grow, so does the need to identify alternative weed control practices. Mulching, a common practice used to control weeds and reduce the need for tillage, can also reduce insect pollinators' exposure to harmful pesticides; however, finding the right mulch materials that allow pollinators to flourish can be challenging. ...

  • Alternative agricultural practices combine productivity and soil health

    The progressive degradation of useful soils for agriculture and farm animal husbandry is a growing environmental and social problem, given that it endangers the food safety of an increasing world population. This fact prompted the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development – Neiker-Tecnalia – to design a series of research projects in order to evaluate alternative agricultural ...


    By ScienceDaily

  • No-till improves near-surface soil properties

    Near-surface soil aggregate structural properties such as aggregate size distribution, stability, strength, and wettability determine the extent to which a soil will erode under water or wind erosive forces. Knowledge of aggregate structural properties is especially important in semiarid regions, such as the Great Plains, where low precipitation, high evaporation, and variable biomass production ...

  • Analyzing long-term impacts of biofuel on the land

    The growing development and implementation of renewable biofuel energy has considerable advantages over using declining supplies of fossil fuels. However, meeting the demands of a fuel-driven society may require utilizing all biofuel sources including agricultural crop residues. While a useful biofuel source, crop residues also play a crucial role in maintaining soil organic carbon stock. This ...

  • ARS explores ways to keep carbon in the soil

    Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are testing out alternative ways of tilling the soil and rotating crops to see if they can help wheat farmers in Oregon sequester more carbon in the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Soil organic carbon plays a major role in how well a cultivated field holds moisture, provides nutrients and remains productive. That can be a problem in ...

  • Ants and termites boost dryland wheat yields

    "Ants and termites perform the same ecosystem service functions in dryland agriculture that earthworms perform in cooler and wetter areas, but the potential for ants and termites to provide these benefits has received little attention until now," said CSIRO's Dr Theo Evans. "We already knew that the activities of ants and termites affect soil structure, aeration, water infiltration and nutrient ...

  • Fewer indicators may be sufficient to assess soil quality

    Although soil quality is best assessed using a wide range of indicators, a smaller set may be more practical and still provide the necessary information needed to choose between land management systems. This is the conclusion of a new study in Brazil that evaluated three different indexes of soil quality based on three sets of indicators. In order to ensure farming is sustainable, there is a ...

  • Cover crops reduce erosion, runoff

    Cover crops may be more effective at reducing soil erosion and runoff after maize harvest than rough tillage, according to scientists from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in collaboration with the Independent Center for the Promotion of Forage (CIPF). The three-year study, supervised by Charles Bielders and conducted by Eric Laloy, measured erosion and runoff losses from silt loam ...

  • Ants and termites boost dryland wheat yields

    Ants and termites have a significant positive impact on crop yields in dryland agriculture, according to a paper published in the journal 'Nature Communications' by scientists at CSIRO and the University of Sydney, Australia. CSIRO's Dr Theo Evans says that ants and termites perform the same ecosystem service functions in dryland agriculture that earthworms perform in cooler and wetter areas, but ...

  • Soil and crop management and carbon sequestration

    Research results from management scenarios ranging from those in the South Eastern, Great Plains, and Upper Midwest regions of the US and from Italy are reported in the March-April, 2010 issue of the Soil Science Society America Journal. This group of papers originated from the Soil Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Symposium that was held jointly by the Soil Science Society of ...

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