Farming is a necessary process for us to have the foods that we need to survive. It allows croplands to maximize yields so that everyone has enough to eat. For many years, the primary farming method used was to till the soil. Because top soil is being eroded at a record pace, no processes have been developed for cropland production. One of those processes is no till farming.
Here are the benefits that can be achieved when this farming method is used.
1. It Reduces the Loss of Crop Residues.
The tilling process may cause up to 10 inches of soil to be displaced so that a new crop can be planted. This causes an elimination of most crop residues that linger in the soil. Those residues are believed to be able to hold up to 2 inches of rainwater, so maintaining their presence can provide a better yield in areas that are dry or struck by drought.
2. It Takes Less Labor.
No till farming requires just a single pass over the croplands in order to plant. In comparison, the standard tilling process may require up to 5 passes to complete. On a 500-acre farm, Purdue University calculated that this would save over 200 hours of labor every year.
3. It Promotes Biodiversity.
No till farming also allows for the natural habitat of the croplands to be maintained in a better way. Worms, beneficial fungi, and other communal plants work with the crops to help sustain yields and keep the soil healthy without the need to apply pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
4. It Reduces Emissions.
Farming using standard practices can produce a lot of emissions. Just a lower use of tractors and farm equipment can have a dramatic impact on emission levels at the local level. There is also a cost benefit to consider with a lower use of farm equipment because there is the possibility that up to 80% of a farmer’s fuel costs could be cut by using no till methods.
Despite these benefits, just 1 in 3 acres of cropland have some form of no till methods being used on them. Almost all no till methods are being used with GMO crops. Only 10% of farms are 100% no till operations. This is why it is a farming method that deserves a closer look from everyone.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.