With no-till, the improved soil structure and moisture conserving residue cover makes more water available for crop production by improving infiltration and decreasing evaporation from the soil surface. c. Problems of zero tillage are low seed germination, low mineralization and build up of volunteer plants. Lower numbers indicate less overall disturbance to the soil layer. While soil puddling can be classified as a secondary tillage its primary purpose is to restrict water movement from the surface layers. Conservation tillage, such as stubble mulch tillage, minimum tillage, reduced tillage, and no-tillage, leaves at least 30% of the soil surface covered by plant residue after planting to reduce erosion and surface runoff. The effect of tillage on soil. Tillage erosion refers to the net soil translocation on the hillslope due to tillage operations, expressed in units of volume, mass, or depth per unit width of tillage. By definition, No-Till The tillage systems classified as conservation tillage are no-till, ridge-till, and mulch-till. Soil is tilled to change its structure, to kill weeds, and to manage crop residues. 1. Primary tillage Primary tillage is the first soil tillage after the last harvest. These techniques maintain plant residues on at least 30% of the soil surface after tillage activities. "Conservation tillage—Any tillage and planting system that covers 30 percent or more of the soil surface with crop residue, after planting, to reduce soil erosion by water. If deep tire tracks are left in the soil, then the soil is probably too wet for tilling. Mulch tillage (stubble mulch tillage). The soil is prepared in such a way that plant residues or other mulching materials are specifically left on or near the surface of the farm. Tillage was used for seedbed preparation, weed suppression, soil aeration, turning over cover crops and forages, burying heavy crop residue, leveling the soil, incorporating manure and fertilizer into the root zone and activating pesticides. Any system that ensures a maximum retention of crop residues (30% or more) on the soil surface. Contour cultivation follows the contour lines of sloping fields. Tillage can be destructive to soil quality, especially when it is done at the wrong time. Conservation tillage, or minimum tillage, is a broadly defined practice that includes no-till, strip till, ridge till, and mulch till systems. Tillage is the manipulation of the soil into a desired condition by mechanical means; tools are employed to achieve some desired effect (such as pulverization, cutting, or movement). Types of tillage Describe primary and secondary tillage. It is based on factors determined by crop management decisions being implemented for a particular field. 2 Efficient Fertilizer Use Manual — Tillage Systems No-till — The CTIC defines no-till as a system in which the soil is left undisturbed from harvest to planting Zero tillage is possible where the soil has: (a) course textured surface, (b) good internal drainage and (c) adequate quantity of residue as mulch. However, tillage has all along been contributing negatively to soil quality. The transport and resultant displacement of soil during tillage is referred to as tillage translocation. Tillage is normally classified as primary or secondary tillage. Soil Tillage Intensity Rating (STIR) Soil Tillage Intensity Rating is a numerical value calculated using RUSLE2. Excessively wet soils are said to be “plastic”; they move and smear easily and can be molded by heavy machinery leading to sub-soil compaction. Tillage breaks up soil structure and destroys residue.

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