What is conservational tillage?• According to the Conservation Technology Information Centerin West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, conservation tillage isdefined as: “any tillage or planting system in which at least30% of the soil surface is covered by plant residue afterplanting to reduce erosion by water”• No-till crop production systems leave the most residue andoften prove to be the most profitable methods of cropproduction.
What is no-till farming?• no-tillage can be defined as a system of planting (seeding)crops into untilled soil by opening a narrow slot or trench onlyof sufficient width and depth to obtain proper seed coverage.No other soil tillage is done (Phillips and Young 1973).
Why no-till farming?• Prevent soil erosionThey significantly reduce soil erosion, helpingpreserve the long-term productive capacity of themanaged fields• Increase farm profitThe practices can increase farm profits by reducingtillage costs without reducing crop productivity.
Why no-till farming is importantthan conventional farming?• Hydrological characteristics- water infiltrationno till farming filter more water than of conventionalfarming.-moisture of the soilmoisture is much conversed in no till farming
• Micro climate- soil temperatureSoil temperature and diurnal fluctuations thereof are usuallyobserved to be lower under no- till(Lal,1975)- airification of the soilThis improves air quality by reducing dust and emissions fromequipment operation. No-till also improves air quality by releasingless carbon from the soil into the atmosphere than traditionalplowing practices.
No till farming: The technique• The basic principles of no till farming- planting of seeds in a narrow slit or hole- using chemicals to control weeds- application of inorganic fertilizers over the crop residuemulch
Pre-plant herbicide weed control-A good kill of weeds before seeding or planting is anessential pre-requisite to successful no-till farming.-In the no till system, preplant weed killing by the applicationof a total weed killer is more equivalent to the laborioustasks of the conventional farming.- commonly used herbicides: glyphosate,paraquat
Injection plantingAfter a good preplant weed kill has been achieved, the seeds tobe sown are injected planted though the mulch into the soil.Here the surface mulch should be left undisturbed afterplanting.No till planters,The stick punch planter rolling injectionplanter
Post-plant herbicide weed controlIn no-till farming ,selective,pre-or post emergence herbicidesare applied soon after seeding and prior to crop emergenceare exclusively used for post-plant weed control.They are designed to kill weed seeds as they germinate butare selectively non-toxic to crop seedlings
MulchingMulchThis differ from crop to crop. A thicker mulch will helpsmoother weeds, but also impede emergence of the cropbeing seeded.Stubblethe stubble should be as short as possible, and if long, shouldbe grazed or burned before herbicide application.
Advantages of no-till farming• Soil conservationThe mulch helps in the development and maintenance ofsurface aggregates and ensures rapid infiltration of water.• Soil ameliorationThe no till system, with a residue mulch and cover crop,improves and restores soil conditions degraded bymechanized land clearing.
• Moisture conservation and water use erosionThe decrease in water runoff and surface evaporation, and anincrease in the available water holding and retention capacityof untilled soil makes more water available for crop use in notill system than in tilled soil.Source (Totis de Zeljcovich 1984).
• Soil temperatureIn no-till farming the residue of old crops left on the surfaceand within the soil helps to protect the soil from the sun .thusconserve the soil temperature.
• Root growth and developmentThe total root mass in no tillage soil is generally more than withconventional ploughing.The lateral root spread is greater in no tillage than in ploughedsoil.
• Soil biological activity• High earthworm activity contribute highly to the mixing ofnutrients and organic matter in the soil and also they improvesoil structure and porosity.• No-tillage soils support a greater number of beneficialinsects and a higher microbial population .
• Nutrient statusThe no tilled soil has a high concentration of organic carbon,total nitrogen available prosperous and exchangeable calciumand potassium in the surface layer than ploughed soil.• Weed controlThe application of the mulch suppress the weed growth andthis is much effective.
• Less work, more moneyBy the elimination of ploughing,harrowng,and otheroperations ,the fuel is much saved in no till farming system.As well as the labour requirement is low and different typesof farm machinery are no longer required with the no tillfarming.
Disadvantages of no till farming• Special machinery are needed.• Some conservation tillage practices are not successfulin certain situations and soil types• Depending on site-specific circumstances and costs,additional herbicides may be applied to a field.• Crop damage from disease outbreak and nuisanceinsects can be higher where conservation tillagepractices are used.• additional application of fertilizers like nitrogen may benecessary based on the condition of crop residue present.
So,No till farming is an easy and asuccessful way of farming which increasefarm profit while reducing costs….