More Say “No” To Tillage

For the first time ever, no-till acres in the United States have broken the 50 million acre mark. The results shown in the No-Till-Age chart at left indicate farmers no-tilled 50,787,792 acres last year.

Nationwide, no-till acres increased nearly 7 percent in the last 2 years. No-till was used on 17.5 percent of all cropped ground last year. Mulch till was used on 17.9 percent of the acres while ridge till was used on 1.1 percent of the total ground with corn, soybeans, small grains, cotton, grain sorghum, forages, peanuts and vegetables.

These figures came from the 2000 Crop Residue Management Survey produced by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) in West Lafayette, Ind. With the cooperation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), information was collected from each county in the U.S. to assess tillage system usage.

“These survey results verify that more farmers are discovering the benefits of no-till, especially in corn and soybeans,” says Bruno Alesii, CTIC chair. “In addition, conservation tillage farmers are increasing their soil organic matter and sequestering carbon, which is part of the Core 4 Conservation strategy of a systems approach for better soils, cleaner water, greater profits and a brighter future.”

When No-Till Farmer started in 1972, the no-till acreage in the U.S. was only 3.2 million acres. Since then, farmers have expanded to 50 million no-till acres to reduce tractor trips, use less fuel, reduce soil loss, improve soil quality and boost water quality in lakes and streams.

Increased No-Till Acres

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Lessiter_frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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