No-till farming (sometimes called zero tillage) is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till leaves the residues from the prior crop on the soil surface, rather than burying them with tillage. No-till increases the amount of water infiltrating into the soil and reduces the amount of water running off, thereby decreasing soil erosion.
It may also increase the amount and variety of life in and on the soil but may require increased reliance on herbicide. No-till farming reduces the use of fuels, and saves time spent in the field for growing crops.
Strip tillage is a system that uses limited tillage in the seed zone, while leaving the rest of a field in no-till. Usually strip tillage achieves some but not all of the benefits of no-till systems.
In Indiana about 24 percent of the corn acres are planted using no-till farming methods, and about 64 percent of the soybean acres. There are great differences by county in the adoption of no-till farming systems.
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