A sustainable agriculture research specialist says new tillage equipment can offer some benefits without significant soil disturbance.
Michigan State University’s Brook Wilke tells Brownfield each field, and even areas of the field, responds differently to tillage.
“Sustainable agriculture can be done with tillage as well,” he says. “What are the ways that we can use tillage and get the goals that we see in the short term from tillage and also still continue to build on our long-term goals of soil health and minimizing erosion.”
He says short-term benefits can include weed control and better seed placement and emergence, but long-term tillage could cause compaction and faster organic matter breakdown.