By Alexis Dunnum, NFU Intern
In previous blog posts, the NFU Climate Column covered both no-till and strip-till practices as climate friendly alternatives to conventional methods. Both of these alternative conservation tilling methods allow the soil to retain more water than conventional methods, giving crops the opportunity to thrive even during dry spells. Yet another of these conservation tilling practices is mulch till.
Mulch-till is any other reduced tillage system that leaves at least one third of the soil surface covered with crop residue. According to NRCS, the mulch-till practice, also known as residue management, manages the amount, orientation, and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year round while limiting the soil-disturbing activities used to grow and harvest crops in systems where the field surface is tilled prior to planting.
Like other conservation tillage methods, mulch till has many environmental benefits including reduction of soil erosion, increased amount of organic matter in the soil, conservation of water by reducing evaporation at soil surface, and reduction of fossil fuel emissions.
Are you a farmer that practices mulch till or residue management? How has this practiced worked for your crops? Share your experience in the comments section!
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