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Trends in tillage that can benefit your field

Farmers are adopting conservation practices at rapidly increasing levels. It’s no surprise with some of the benefits conservation tillage can provide. According to Laura Fribley, of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, in her article, “Tracking Conservation Tillage Trends, “Data from the 2013 Tillage Transect indicate that as a result of tillage practices on Scott County’s corn and soybean acres, an estimated 75,100 gallons of diesel fuel are saved compared to conventional tillage this year, and 121,100 tons of soil!”

Historically, conservation tillage practices have expanded a great deal. Approximately 26.1 percent of farm land was in some form of conservation tillage. In 2004, that number had risen to 40.7 percent, according to “U.S. Tillage Trends” by the University of Illinois.

conservation tillage from 1990 to 2004

“Conservation tillage helps keep the soil where it belongs: on the field. This residue cover can help reduce soil erosion by 50 percent or more compared to bare soil. This is good for our farmers, good for soil productivity, and good for healthy streams,” added Laura Fribley in her article, “Tracking Conservation Tillage Trends”. No-till farming can reduce soil erosion by 75 percent compared to a conventional tillage system.

The Farm Bill provides funding for conservation programs to help promote stewardship of the land. For more information about funding available in your area, contact your local National Resources Conservation Service office.