A new USDA report says no-till farming continues to grow across the U.S., although adoption rates didn’t go up in every state or for all crops.
Approximately 35.5% of U.S. cropland, or 88 million acres, planted to eight major crops had no-till operations in 2009, according to ERS researchers. The crops — barley, corn, cotton, oats, rice, sorghum, soybeans and wheat — constitute 94% of total planted U.S. acreage in 2009.
No-till increased for corn, cotton, soybeans and rice at a median rate of 1.5 percentage points per year. Soybean farmers had the highest percentage of planted acres with no-till — 45.3% in 2006, which was projected to have increased to nearly 50% by 2009.
No-till was practiced on 23.5% of corn acres in 2005, and that may have increased to 29.5% in 2009. Cotton farmers practiced no-till on 20.7% of planted acres in 2007, with a potential increase to 23.7% by 2009.