Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2006
Publication Date: 1/1/2007
Citation: Reicosky, D.C., Saxton, K.E. 2007. The benefits of no-tillage. In: Baker, C.J., Saxton, K.E., editors. No-tillage seeding in conservation agriculture. 2nd edition. Rome, Italy: FAO. p. 11-20.
Technical Abstract: While we learn more about soil carbon (C) storage and its central role in environmental benefits, we must understand the secondary environmental benefits of no till (NT) and what they mean to sustainable production agriculture. The objective of this review was to present recent concepts on tillage-induced C losses as impacted by different tillage methods and present the environmental benefits of C sequestration. Understanding these environmental benefits directly related to soil C and getting the conservation practices implemented on the land will hasten the development of harmony between man and nature while increasing production of food, fiber and biofuels. Increasing soil C storage can increase infiltration, increase fertility, decrease wind and water erosion, minimize compaction, enhance water quality, decrease C emissions, impede pesticide movement and enhance environmental quality. Increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere require that all nations establish international and national goals and policies for reductions. Accepting the challenges of maintaining food security by incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our willingness to work in harmony with nature. This concern presents a positive role for conservation agriculture that will have a major impact on global sustainability and our future quality of life.