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Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till

A mulch tillage operation leaves plant residues on the soil surface

Practice Code: 345
Reporting Unit: Acre (Ac.)

Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till, is the practice of managing the amount, orientation and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year round while limiting the soil-disturbing activities used to grow and harvest crops in systems where the field surface is tilled prior to planting.

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

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:

Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
Cover Crop (340)
Mulching (with organic materials) (484)
Mulching (with plastic) (484)
Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till (329)

If you want to learn how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forest land, please contact your local NRCS Service Center.

 


How to Get Assistance

 

 

 

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