The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging California farmers to consider ways to minimize tillage operations.
Minimizing tillage protects soil physical properties, thereby maintaining soil health and enhancing soil functions to hold and supply both water and nutrients to crops, and providing many conservation benefits to soil, water and air natural resources.
First launched in 2017, the NRCS No-Till November campaign encourages farmers to consider how they might give their tillage equipment in their machine sheds this fall and decrease soil disturbance.
The campaign has reached more than 1.5 million people through Twitter and local media since 2017.
Minimizing tillage supports soil microbial communities, essential for nutrient cycling and providing the “glue” that builds strong soil structure. Reduced tillage creates soil conditions that improve infiltration to ensure winter rains are captured in the soil and not lost to runoff.
“California farmers look for no-till benefits wherever they can, and NRCS is here to help you evaluate benefits of different tillage management,” said Carlos Suarez, NRCS State Conservationist in California. “Some of the corn and small grain silage systems have offered great opportunity for reduced tillage. No-till and reduce-till farming is one of many soil health conservation practices to promote water quality while saving farmers time and money. No-till November is an appropriate way to remind farmers about the important relationship between your tillage and soil health,” he said.
For more information about soil health and no-till, please visit www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov.