Conservation Tillage

What's in it for me?

Plenty, if you farm row crops or small grains!

Do any of these interest you?

What's in it for me - farmer tending crop

Sound good? Here's the best part: You can do it, too. Read on to find out more.

What is it?

Simply stated, conservation tillage is planting crops in the soil through a previous crop's residue. Herbicides are usually used for weed control because you rarely use actual tillage.

Farmers are now actually planting more acres to conservation tillage than to conventional tillage.

Why?

Want to be successful?

Harvestor harvesting GrainConservation tillage is very effective for corn, wheat, soybeans, and even cotton. Pasture renovation, too.

Although it often needs special equipment, conventional equipment can be adapted to leave more residue on the surface. Overall equipment and labor costs can actually decrease since you don't need a plow, disk, or cultivator, or as powerful a tractor as when you were turn-plowing.

Many Conservation Districts rent conservation tillage equipment, and have staff available from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the SC Department of Natural Resources. The Cooperative Extension Service is another great source of help. All of them have knowledge based on research throughout the US, and the experience of local farmers.

The Bottom Line:

If you're new to conservation tillage, go slowly. There's lots of free help available from local experienced farmers, and through your Conservation District and county Extension Service offices. Call them!

Even if you're experienced, call these agencies. They keep up with the latest developments that can help boost your profits. And if you have a problem, they'll help you find the answer.

The first step, though, is up to you. Call your Conservation District or county Extension Service office. They have free information and technical support that can help you.


Conservation District Equipment List - April 1, 2010 (Adobe PDF - file size 57KB)

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