Whether talking to farmers in France, Ghana or southern Ohio, the message of CFAES soil scientist Rafiq Islam is consistent: Tilling the land does more long-term damage than good.
Adding organic matter leads to healthier soil, which in turn improves a farm’s profitability and the quality of the water that runs off from it. That’s a key message of CFAES’s annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference. It’s today and tomorrow in northwest Ohio. Read more …
Ohio’s big annual Conservation Tillage Conference is coming up. Sponsored by CFAES, it’s March 2-3 in northwest Ohio.
How does conservation tillage fit with sustainable agriculture?
Potentially very well, says a fact sheet by the national ATTRA sustainable agriculture program:
“The principal benefits of conservation tillage are improved water conservation and the reduction of soil erosion. Additional benefits include reduced fuel consumption, reduced compaction, planting and harvesting flexibility, reduced labor requirements, and improved soil tilth.”
All those, of course, can support and improve a farm’s economic and ecological sustainability.
Get conference details here. (Photo: Jane Johnson, USDA-ARS.)
Practices such as no-till farming take the stage March 3-4 at the big annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in northwest Ohio. CFAES is a sponsor. Lower fuel use, less soil erosion and better water quality are among the many benefits of conservation tillage. (Photo: No-till corn by Peggy Greb, USDA-ARS.)
For a farmer, choosing not to till the soil can make it more fertile and keep it from eroding, the former a plus for food production, the latter a boon to water. On Dec. 3, CFAES experts will speak on science-tested ways to carry out the practice. Details here and here (PDF). (Photo: No-till soybeans, NRCS.)
When it became apparent that the dry spell many Ohio growers were experiencing last year would become the worst drought in 50 years, David Brandt, pictured, wasn’t worried about how well the corn and soybeans on his 1,150-acre farm would fare. The Carroll, Ohio, farmer instead relied on a natural form of insurance that left the soils in his fields protected against the devastating effects of the record heat and drought that decimated many farmers nationwide in 2012. Read the story …