The educational materials listed on this page are about Conservation Tillage.
Conservation tillage reduces soil disturbance by leaving more than thirty percent of the soil surface covered with the residue of a previous crop. This crop production system improves soil conservation, reduces soil erosion and limits water runoff. Producers can choose from several different conservation tillage systems no-till, strip-till, ridge-till or zone-till—based on their individual cropping system and on the amount of residue they want to leave on the soil surface. There is also a variety of tillage equipment available for farmers and ranchers, depending on which tillage system they use. No-till farming leaves all of the previous crop’s residue on the field. Farmers who use a strip-till system only disturb the section of soil that is necessary for seeding. Strip tillage is similar to zone tillage, but the latter cuts deeper into the soil to increase water infiltration. In ridge-till systems, farmers build raised seed beds to create a warmer seedbed with better drainage. Cover crops can be added to any conservation tillage system to provide additional residue and soil cover between cash crops.
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Researchers Work to Develop, Test Dry-Farm-Adapted Corn Varieties
As farmers and agricultural researchers work to adapt to changing climatic conditions, some are looking to future innovations, some are exploring past agricultural practices, and some are doing both. In Western Oregon, a collaborative effort to establish and expand dry farming – growing crops without irrigation – is decidedly in the “doing both” camp. “There […]
Experimenting with Kernza
While some growers and researchers are experimenting with drought-adapted varieties of existing crops, others are testing more substantial shifts in agricultural practices. One of those shifts is from annual grain crops that have to be replanted every year to perennial grains that produce a crop year after year without replanting. In eastern Wyoming, a Western […]
Farmers Test Whether Cardboard Can Keep Bindweed at Bay
Bindweed can be the bane of farmers’ existence. The climbing vine spreads easily by seed and rigorous root system, choking off crops and other plants along the way. “Even when we till in the spring, we spend a huge amount of time hand weeding throughout the season to manage bindweed,” explained Jonah Sloven, who grows […]
Fresh Growth Podcast
Fresh Growth: Approaches to a More Sustainable Future from Western Ag Practitioners introduces you to farmers and ranchers from around the western United States who are finding innovative sustainable practices that enrich the natural resources we all care about. These successful multi-generational operations experiment with new ideas and are making it pay. Listen in as […]