No-till makes sustainable sense

A recent USDA study points to the increasing adoption of no-till on the nation’s major field crops, with an estimated 35 percent of cropland supporting eight major crops planted into no-till.

Ohio is following nationwide trends with 80 percent of wheat and soybeans and 20 percent of corn planted into no-till — and with good reason.

The practice of minimally disturbing the soil offers a myriad of benefits, including storing carbon, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions; controlling soil erosion, which reduces run-off; and fostering microbial growth, which improves soil structure and lasting use of the land.

For decades Ohio State University Extension has stayed on the pulse of conservation tillage management. One notable effort is the annual Ohio No-Till Conference, which helps farmers balance land stewardship with crop profitability through non-biased, research-based educational sessions.

This year’s event will take place Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Der Dutchman Restaurant, 445 S. Jefferson Avenue, Plain City, Ohio. Registration is $35 at the door. The conference is sponsored by the Ohio No-Till Council, in cooperation with OSU Extension and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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