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Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

Conservation Tillage

Example of plants grown using no-till methods

Conservation tillage disrupts the soil as little as possible. It has particular benefits in reducing soil erosion by protecting the soil surface so water tends to infiltrate instead of running off. It is also used to help maintain and support the soil biology, with benefits in terms of fungal relationships essential for nutrient uptake and carbon sequestration. Conservation tillage practices include no-till, strip-till, ridge-till, mulch-till, and vertical/shallow-till. Each has specific applications which would increase their suitability for different production systems, including crop type, soil type, weather patterns and climate, and equipment availability, among other factors. They all leave plant residue on the ground that serves as mulch and protection for the soil.

Mentor Farmers Share Experiences with Conservation Tillage

Useful Information

Videos

Conservation Counts

NRCS Introduction to Conservation Tillage Video

Practical Conservation Tillage for Western Region Organic Cropping Systems

Video from Organic Farming Research Foundation

Mark Schonbeck of the Organic Farming Research Foundation discusses approaches to reducing the adverse impacts of tillage on soil life and soil health. He covers recent research into newer tillage tools and minimum-till strategies for Western Region organic vegetable, fruit, and field crop production. Recorded January 23, 2019.

Useful Websites and Podcasts

Scientific Literature