What is no till farming and how does it help the environment?
One of the more popular methods of sustainable farming and a great way to maintain soil health is through the practices and methods of no till farming. What is no till farming? There are many advantages of no till farming. One of the biggest reasons a farmer uses no till farming practices is for weed control in organic farming.
When did farmers stop using tillage?
On a commercial scale, no till farming, also known as zero tillage, didn’t reach the United States until the 1940s, when a broadleaf weed killer became available to farmers. In the early 1960s, better herbicides became available, and no till seeding equipment was developed.
Who was the first farmer to use mechanized no till farming?
In 1962, two brothers in Kentucky (Harry and Lawrence Young) were among the first farmers to use mechanized, no till farming techniques.
What is the difference between tillage and no-till farming?
In conventional no-till farming, farmers use herbicides to manage the weeds before and after sowing the seeds. The amount of herbicides used in this approach is even higher than the amount used in tillage-based farming, which causes a threat to the environment and human health.
What happened after the Dust Bowl?
After the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s, when severe drought conditions across much of America’s farmlands led to a widespread agricultural depression, interest in no till planting increased.
When did farmers stop tilling?
In the 1980s, the 1985 Farm Bill and federal government subsidies for soil conservation motivated more farmers to try no till farming.
How to contact No Till?
For more information about no till parts and equipment, please call us at (800) 417-8020, or e-mail [email protected]
When was Exapta Solutions founded?
In 1998, we founded Exapta Solutions, Inc. to offer better equipment, tools, and education to no till farmers. We now sell over 100 parts, add-ons, equipment, and attachments for drills and planters.
When did zero till farming start?
On a commercial scale, no till farming, also known as zero tillage, did not reach the United States until the 1940s, when a broadleaf weed killer became available to farmers.
How does no tilling save money?
No-till removes the step of tilling the soil and therefore saves the farmer time and money. According to a report published in Scientific America, this decreases the fuel expense by 50 to 80 percent and the labor by 30 to 50 percent.
What is no till farming?
To clear up this confusion, it’s important to understand that there are two types of no-till farming: conventional and organic. In conventional no-till farming, farmers use herbicides to manage the weeds before and after sowing the seeds.
What happens when you till soil?
Tillage loosens and removes any plant matter covering the soil, leaving it bare. Bare soil, especially soil that is deficient in rich organic matter, is more likely to be eroded by wind and water. Think of it this way: Undisturbed soil resembles a sponge, held together by an intricate structure of different soil particles and channels created by roots and soil organisms. When the soil is disturbed by tilling, its structure becomes less able to absorb and infiltrate water and nutrients.
Why is no till farming important?
This form of no till farming provides good protection for the soil from erosion and helps retain moisture for the new crop.
Why do farmers use tilling?
Farmers adopted the method because it allowed them to plant more seeds while expending less effort. Tilling involves turning over the first 6 – 10 inches of soil before planting new crops. This practice works surface crop residues, animal manure and weeds deep into the field, blending it into the soil.
How much soil does the Earth lose?
The Earth loses roughly 23 billion tons of fertile soil every year. At this rate, all fertile soil will be gone within 150 years, unless farmers convert to practices that restore and build soil organic matter, an essential component of soil fertility. Many industrial agricultural practices are lethal to soil fertility, …
What is the carbon in soil?
Soil naturally stores carbon. When soil is plowed under, carbon, in the form of organic material such as plant roots and microorganisms, rises to the soil’s surface. This temporarily provides nutrients for crops. But as the soil carbon is exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere, it transforms into carbon dioxide, contributing to the greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet.
Why is no till better than less tillage?
No till or less tillage equals healthier so mainly because you are building organic matter. Every time you plow you loose over 2,000 lb. of carbon to the atmosphere in only 24 hours. This is why, over a 100 years of tillage, we went from 8% organic matter to 3-5% organic matter in our fields. Check your records, from soil samples over the years, to be able to see if you have built or remained the same on your organic matter. BUILDING YOUR ORGANIC MATTER IS THE KEY TO HEALTH SOIL. If you can’t measure it ya can’t manage it.
What is the Conservation Effects Assessment Project?
To help farmers answer this question, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) conducted an annual fuel savings study comparing gallons of fuel used in conventional tillage practices to gallons used in conservation tillage practices like seasonal and continuous no-till.
How much organic matter is lost in Iowa?
Our soil organic matter, here in Iowa, use to be 7-8% . Now organic matter maybe as low as 1-4%. Tillage is the culprit! Every time you till farmers loose over 2,000 lb. Of carbon to the atmosphere/ acre. That is reducing the organic matter, reducing water infiltration and 20-29 lb. of free nitrogen/ 1% organic matter is lost.
How do farmers save money?
Farmers across the country save fuel and money by adopting conservation tillage practices.
How much diesel fuel does a farmer use per acre?
On average, farmers practicing continuous conventional till use just over six gallons of diesel fuel per acre each year. Continuous no-till requires less than two gallons per acre. Across the country, that difference leads to nearly 282 million gallons of diesel fuel saved annually by farmers who practice continuous no-till instead …
Why is no till important?
No-till adoption also reduces soil erosion, increases soil biological activity and increases soil organic matter. These benefits can lead to additional economic gains for farmers over time.
What is a no-till planter?
A no-till planter is used to plant soybeans into a terminated cover crop. Photo credit: Jason Johnson, NRCS-Iowa. For farmers across the country, it comes as no surprise to hear that conservation tillage practices – particularly continuous no-till – can save time and money compared to conventional tillage. The potential benefits of no-till are …
What replaced tillage as the primary tool for removing the weedy competition?
The invention of herbicides replaced tillage as the primary tool for removing the weedy competition. These other benefits have now become what contemporary tillage implements are based on.
What is the strategy used to puddle the soil?
To puddle the soil, farmers plow and harrow the ground while it’s flooded, often with the use of draft animals.
How did mechanization change the oil industry?
Mechanization replaced draft animals and paralleled the development of the oil and gas industry .
What is the goal of puddling?
The goal of puddling is to destroy soil aggregates so the ground becomes nearly impossible for water to penetrate, and can be flooded. This is the exact opposite of what’s desired for corn and soybean fields in the midwestern United States. The method would almost certainly cause failed corn and soybean stands.
Why do farmers use tractor pulls?
In other societies with strong economies and appropriate landscapes, farmers rely on tractor-pulled and automated implements to grow crops on thousands of acres each year. Regardless of where they live or how sophisticated their tools are, all farmers’ primary goal has been to produce a plentiful crop by giving each plant a competitive advantage.
Why is disturbed soil important?
Disturbing the soil kills the weeds that compete for space, water, sunlight and nutrients with our seedlings. The disturbed soil also gives the seed a safe place without being eaten by birds and rodents. As the seed sprouts and the plant grows, farmers continue to thin out the competition with cultivation, giving the seed the advantage.
How do farmers gain knowledge?
Farmers gained this knowledge the long and hard way, by experience through trial and error. Before we dig in too deeply, it’s beneficial to ask why we till the soil.
Does Organic Agriculture Use No-Till Farming?
One of the major no-till farming disadvantages is the necessity of increased weed control that involves industrial herbicide applications and its consequences for mankind and nature.
What are the benefits of no-till farming?
The major benefits of no-till farming include, among others: 1 Savings on tillage equipment needed to plow the entire field. Modern machines allow sowing directly on the residue-covered strips instead. Furthermore, plants can get nutrients from the decomposed matter this way. 2 Limited fossil fuel inputs for field operations ( 6 to 2 gallons of diesel fuel per acre, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture). 3 Shorted operation time. Sophisticated seeders do the job faster and complete it in one-field pass. 4 Avoided human labor for tilling operations and maintaining tillage machines. 5 Conserved moisture and decreased water spend due to slowed evaporation and low cracking. 6 Eliminated herbicide leakage due to less frequent irrigation.
What is the best way to control weeds in no till farming?
To solve the problem, agriculturalists cover inter-rows with straw, dry hay, or mulches. It not only helps to suppress weeds due to lack of light but accumulates moisture and protects plant roots from the burning sun.
What is crop monitoring?
Crop Monitoring is an online tool for agriculture that greatly facilitates crop rotation decisions and no-till farming implementations in particular. It allows comprehensive monitoring and analysis of vegetation states in real time as well as the recent five years. Retrieving weather conditions in the light of several years along with data on vegetation indices, farmers can choose the most suitable crop with respect to the specific climatic needs of each plant. Simply put, they can opt for the most appropriate crop for a particular field.
What is no till farming?
No-till method of farming requires special equipment (disc seeders or agriculture drills) to make furrows, immediately plant seeds, firm them, and cover (un like double-passing the field after plowing). This way, the soil suffers from minimum disturbance, as it is dug exactly where the seed is supposed to drop.
How does no-till farming help soil?
No-till farming helps to conserve soil and preserve its fertility. Tilling interferes with the earth’s flora and fauna balance impacting micro-communities. It does help to mechanically control mature pests and their larvae; yet, it destroys beneficial species at the same time. With no-till, certain soil microorganisms in their natural habitats are capable of improving soil fertility with their activities. Another contribution of no-till agriculture to soil fertility is nitrogen enrichment by legumes, which is useful to subsequent crops in crop rotation.
What is crop rotation?
Crop Rotation. Crop rotation is an efficient agricultural technique with multiple benefits. As a no-till method of farming, it assists in the following issues: weed infestations and pest invasions since different types of crops have different pest and weed threats; soil erosion as alternative plants have different roots;