RESOURCE HUB: NO-TILL FARMING

What is no-till farming?

Just like the name implies, no-till farming is a technique of cultivating crops on land without overly disturbing the soil with heavy plowing equipment. No-till farmers use a special seed tractor that can plant seeds quickly and efficiently as they would using the traditional plow

What are the advantages and disadvantages of no-till agriculture?

No-till farming is better for the environment and improves soil fertility. When soil is disturbed by tilling, it releases a lot of carbon into the atmosphere causing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that are one of the causes of climate change. Tilling also disrupts and kills a lot of the microorganisms and mycelium living within the soil that provide nutrients and make up the natural ecosystem. The no-till method helps maintain the biodiversity that gives more nutrition to the crops. The no-till method also does not use a lot of synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides that are used on many industrial farms. The healthier soil holds moisture better which reduces runoff and erosion mitigates point source pollution that can contaminate the waterways and pollute the ocean.

The disadvantage of no-till farming is that there may be a lot more weeds that would have been killed with the plow.

Conventional no-till farming methods sometimes use herbicides to deal with this problem. The herbicides can cause problems of their own.

Organic, no-till farming techniques use cover crops, and crop rotation and other natural means to control weeds and pests. Some organic farmers have developed methods of laying down an organic weed suppression cover.

What is the benefit of no-till agriculture?

Fewer emissions, healthier soil, reduced erosion, improved biodiversity and greater, more nutritious crop yields are just some of the benefits of no-till farming. No-till farming is good for the environment and is an important method of regenerative agriculture and is one of the frontiers in sustainable food systems.



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