No-Till Saves Soil
By Jim R.
The “No-Till – Saves Soil ” sign was an effort by the Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation District to promote the move from conventional tillage to reduced or NoTill tillage on our counties more highly erodible soils. During the late 80′s and 90′s, there was encouragement by the Conservation District to adopt NoTill to comply with a initiative called T by 2000, which was a program by the USDA.
On our farm, we had very little highly erodible soils, but tried the NoTill on our other soils and found it to be a very worthwhile practice by which we continue practice today in certain situations. We currently NoTill our soybeans into the previous years corn stalks. We do not use straight NoTill on our corn acres, but use a method called strip till.
Strip till is a practice used in the Fall or in the Spring by which the ground is tilled between the previous years rows. In Northern Illinois it is beneficial to warm the soil to aid with germination and emergence of the seed. The benefits of NoTill reduces soil erosion, preserves soil moisture as in the drought of 2012, and reduces the cost of producing corn.
Image Caption: No-Till Sign. “Illinois corn and soybean farmer Jim Rapp is an early adapter and promoter of no-till farming.”
Time Period: 1980s, 1990s
Themes: Technology, Environment