Reducing the intensity of tillage can help improve the soil in many ways. Maintaining more residue on the surface reduces runoff and erosion, while the reduction in soil disturbance allows for earthworm holes and old root channels to rapidly conduct water from intense rainstorms into the soil. There are many choices of reduced tillage systems, and equipment is available to help farmers succeed. Using cover crops along with reduced tillage has been found to be a winning combination, providing surface cover rapidly and helping to control weeds.
Cornell Recommendations for Integrated Field Crop Production. 2000. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Manuring. 1979. Cooperative Extension Service Publication AY-222/ West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University.
Moebius, B.N., H.M. van Es, J.O. Idowu, R.R. Schindelbeck, D.J. Clune, D.W. Wolfe, G.S. Abawi, J.E. Thies, B.K. Gugino, and R. Lucey. 2008. Long-term removal of maize residue for bioenergy: Will it affect soil quality? Soil Science Society of America Journal 72: 960–969.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. 1997. No-till: Making it Work. Available from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Rodale Institute. No-Till Revolution. https://rodaleinstitute.org/no-till_revolution.
Tull, J. 1733. The Horse-Hoeing Husbandry: Or an Essay on the Principles of Tillage and Vegetation. Printed by A. Rhames, for R. Gunne, G. Risk, G. Ewing, W. Smith, & Smith and Bruce, Booksellers. Available online through Core Historical Literature of Agriculture, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University. https://chla.library.cornell.edu.
van Es, H.M., A.T. DeGaetano, and D.S. Wilks. 1998. Upscaling plot-based research information: Frost tillage. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 50: 85–90.
Table of Contents
- About the Authors
- Healthy Soils
- Organic Matter: What It Is and Why It's So Important
- Amount of Organic Matter in Soils
- The Living Soil
- Soil Particles, Water, and Air
- Soil Degradation: Erosion, Compaction, and Contamination
- Nutrient Cycles and Flows
- Soil Health, Plant Health, and Pests
- Managing for High Quality Soils: Organic Matter, Soil Physical Condition, Nutrient Availability
- Cover Crops
- Crop Rotations
- Animal Manures for Increasing Organic Matter and Supplying Nutrients
- Making and Using Composts
- Reducing Erosion and Runoff
- Preventing and Lessening Compaction
- Reducing Tillage
- Managing Water: Irrigation and Drainage
- Nutrient Management: An Introduction
- Management of Nitrogen and Phosphorus
- Other Fertility Issues: Nutrients, CEC, Acidity, and Alkalinity
- Getting the Most From Routine Soil Tests
- Taking Soil Samples
- Accuracy of Recommendations Based on Soil Tests
- Sources of Confusion About Soil Tests
- Soil Testing for Nitrogen
- Soil Testing for P
- Testing Soils for Organic Matter
- Interpreting Soil Test Results
- Adjusting a Soil Test Recommendation
- Making Adjustments to Fertilizer Application Rates
- Managing Field Nutrient Variability
- The Basic Cation Saturation Ratio System
- Summary and Sources
- How Good Are Your Soils? Field and Laboratory Evaluation of Soil Health
- Putting It All Together