Expert Articles
Conservation tillage for better crop growth

What is the minimum tillage concept?

Minimum tillage or conservation tillage is a method of soil cultivation that reduces the number of intercultural operations and also leaves crop residue on fields before and after planting the next crop. Many studies done by International institutes on Wheat and Maize has proved that farmers can get good yields due to minimum tillage concept.


Why should farmers reduce tillage operations?

Continuous cultivation of soil causes erosion due to wind and water. The tillage practices also damage soil structure and create more evaporation of water.

Successful Examples of minimum tillage concept

In North India cultivation of Wheat is done by seed drill in many parts. The Maize crop in Bihar and coastal Andhra Pradesh is grown after Rice crop is harvested with residual soil moisture. Mostly pulses are broadcasted without much soil tillage. In all the above examples farmers are getting good yields.

Do we have machinery available for minimum tillage?

There are many efforts done by Agriculture institutes and implements like seed drills and seed and fertilizer drills are available for the farmers.

Is there any problem with weed growth?

If farmers are doing more inter cultivation, the impact of herbicides will be lost as the soil gets disturbed and the weed seeds get activated.

Advantages of minimum tillage

  1. Reduction time to sow next crop and thereby early cropping can be obtained to get higher yields.
  2. Reduction in the cost of inputs for land preparation and therefore a saving of around 80%.
  3. Soil moisture can be effectively utilized and a number of irrigations can be reduced.
  4. Due to minimum tillage, dry matter and organic matter will be added to the soil after the season
  5. Minimum tillage reduces the compaction of the soil and reduces the water loss by runoff and prevent soil erosion
  6. As the soil is intact and no disturbance is done,safer to more useful microbes and earthworms.
  7. The environmentally safe Greenhouse effect will get reduced.

So farmers can do their own assessment on the benefits of minimum tillage. For this, they can test half or a quarter acre in their fields and observe the benefits of minimum tillage concept. Once they are satisfied they can go for large areas.

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