Conservation Tillage

Conservation tillage is part of a system of crop production that is designed to minimize soil disturbance while maintaining the previous year’s crop residue on or near the soil surface and minimize the number of field operations. Conservation tillage is designed to increase water infiltration and reduce water runoff erosion and wind erosion.  In addition to conserving soil, this system conserves moisture, energy, labor and equipment.

Ways to leave more residue:

  • Reduce the number of tillage passes
  • Till in the spring
  • Follow a low residue crop with a high residue crop
  • Plant a cover crop
  • Set chisels and disks to work shallower
  • Stop using the moldboard plow
  • Drive slower on tillage operations
  • Use straight points and less aggressive sweeps on chisel plows
  • A straighter alignment of disk blades buries less residue
  • Use no-till after a soybean crop
  • Strive for even distribution of residue from a combine harvest
  • Convert to no-till

conventional discdust bowlno-till plantingresidue after planting