Friday, December 12, 2014

US 52% No-Till

"Soil health improves when farmers refrain from disturbing the soil. While no-till production systems are increasingly used on land in corn, soybeans, and wheat -- the three largest U.S. crops by acreage -- they are not necessarily used every year.

Field-level data, collected through the Agricultural Resource Management Survey, show that farmers often rotate no-till with other tillage systems.

Farmers growing wheat (in 2009), corn (in 2010), and soybeans (in 2012) were asked about no-till use in the survey year and the 3 previous years.

No-till was used continuously over the 4-year period on 21 percent of surveyed acres. On almost half of the cropland surveyed, farmers did not use no-till.

Some of the benefit of using no-till, including higher organic matter and greater carbon sequestration, is realized only if no-till is applied continuously over a number of years.

Nonetheless, because tilling the soil can help control weeds and pests, some farmers rotate tillage practices much like they rotate crops."

That's higher than I would expect, especially with all the tillage you read about and see.  If this is true, it is a good trend for soil conservation.  With the Marestail problem, I know a few who have went to some tillage just to try and control it.

I can see where today's economics help push no-till, because it's a potentially less expensive way to farm.  Less trips means less inputs into growing a crop.

Do think this number is fairly accurate for your area?

Ed Winkle

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