Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast


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Conservation tillage, cover crops and other practices that rebuild soil organic matter are critical to increasing crop productivity and reversing the negative impact of historical topsoil loss in the Southern Piedmont region. The bottom line is that improvements in soil properties associated with conservation tillage and increased biomass inputs are the keys to increasing crop productivity and achieving sustainability. Conservation tillage is critical to keeping residues on the soil surface [17]. Measurable changes in soil physical and biological properties usually require three to five years to occur due to the variability in soil properties. Yield changes can often be seen in the first year, depending on the producer’s experience and management intensity, soil physical factors and environmental conditions. Maintaining residue cover and decreasing tillage intensity are important factors for maintaining or increasing yields [18].

Download the tables from Chapter 20.