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Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till

A no till planting of corn into a barley cover crop

Practice Code: 329
Reporting Unit: Acre (Ac.)

Residue and Tillage Management, No-Till, is the management of the amount, orientation and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year around while providing the least amount of soil-disturbing activities during planting operations.

Purposes and Benefits

  • Ground cover prevents soil erosion and protects water quality
  • Residue improves soil tilth and adds organic matter to the soil as it decomposes
  • Fewer trips and less tillage reduces soil compaction
  • Time, energy and labor savings are possible with fewer tillage trips

Web graphic: 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:

Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
Cover Crop (340)
Mulching (with organic materials) (484)
Mulching (with plastic) (484)
Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till (345)

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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