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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

No-Till Research
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One of the conservation practices that has been studied on a long-term basis at Coshocton is the practice of growing corn without any tillage -- either in the spring or fall. The only disturbance of the soil is the slit made by the planter when the seeds are dropped. This leaves all the residue from the previous crop on the surface, which reduces raindrop impact and reduces subsequent runoff. No-till corn has been grown on a small watershed with 6 to 12% slope for 39 consecutive years. With an average annual rainfall of 960 mm, average annual runoff has been less than 2 mm  and soil loss negligible. This work shows that on some soils, no-till can almost stop runoff and erosion. Even with many consecutive years, crop yields averaged higher than from adjacent conventionally tilled corn.

Last Modified: 10/16/2005
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