No-Tillage Agriculture

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Science  06 Jun 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4448, pp. 1108-1113
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4448.1108


The no-tillage cropping system, a combination of ancient and modern agricultural practices, has been rapidly increasing in use. By the year 2000, as much as 65 percent of the acreage of crops grown in the United States may be grown by the no-tillage practice. Soil erosion, the major source of pollutants in rural streams, is virtually eliminated when no-tillage agriculture is practiced. The no-tillage system reduces the energy input into corn and soybean production by 7 and 18 percent, respectively, when compared to the conventional tillage system of moldboard plowing followed by disking. In addition, crop yields are as high as or higher than those obtained with traditional tillage practices on large areas of agricultural land.

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