Agronomy Library > Soil Conservation

Influence of Changing Tillage Practices on Crop Production
Author: Lafond, G.P., Boyetchko, S.M., Brandt, S.A., Clayton, G.W., Entz, M.H., Indian Head Experimental Research Station, Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Date Created: January 01, 1996
Last Reviewed: February 01, 2007

Summary.
The most efficient and practical way of protecting the soil against wind and water erosion is with surface anchored crop residues.

The rate and extent of crop establishment is not adversely affected by conservation tillage provided shallow seeding is used and adequate seed to soil contact is achieved.

Soil water conservation can be enhanced with conservation tillage systems. The type and amount of crop residues present, and the agro-ecological zone directly influence the amount conserved.

Crop residue decomposition is 1.5 x slower on the surface than when buried and the rate of decomposition can be explained almost entirely by the location, the nitrogen content of residues, and growing degree days.

Grain yield can be improved with conservation tillage and is directly related to amount of extra water conserved regardless of the crop.

Crop establishment, which is critical in forage production, can be improved with conservation tillage, Removing forage stands with herbicide as opposed to tillage favoured subsequent crops.