Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

Reduced Tillage

Example of plants grown using no-till methods

As one of the six soil health principles of Regenerative Agriculture it's important to consider where and when it's possible to reduce or eliminate tillage. No-till practices protect 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. Reduced tillage (often referred to as 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.

Download a printable fact sheet based on this page. (PDF)

Go to:

Useful Information


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.

Websites and Podcasts