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Residue and Tillage Management, Ridge Till

A tractor working in a field of corn where residue and tillage management are in practice


Practice Code: 346
Reporting Unit: Acre (Ac.)

Ridge tillage is the practice of managing the amount, orientation, and distribution of crop and other plant residues on the soil surface year-round, while growing crops on pre-formed ridges alternated with furrows protected by crop residue.

Purposes and Benefits

  • Residue cover prevents soil erosion and protects water quality
  • Residue improves soil tilth and adds organic matter to the soil
  • Fewer trips and less tillage reduces soil compaction and improves air quality
  • Time, energy and labor savings are realized with fewer tillage trips
  • Soil formed into ridges generally warms faster in the spring allowing for earlier planting and seed germination

Raindrop and soilPhoto Gallery

Farming With Crop Residues

Farming with Crop Residues, a brochure published by the NRCS, presents photographs of various percentages of ground cover that can be expected using different tillage techniques.

Photo of corn residue left on the ground after tillagePhoto of corn residue left on the ground after tillagePhoto of corn residue left on the ground after tillage




Conservation Practice Documents

Web link image: Field Office Technical GuideDocuments associated with this and other conservation practices are available at the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide web site.


Related Conservation Practices

This practice is commonly used in a Conservation Management System with practices such as:

Click to locate
your local NRCS office
NRCS New York Office Locator

Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
Cover Crop (340)
Mulching (with organic materials) (484)
Mulching (with plastic) (484)
Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till (345)
Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till/Strip Till/Direct Seed (329)

If you want to learn how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forestland, please contact your local NRCS office.

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