Guy Padgett | 5/7/2012 12:51:55 AM
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Click on the links above to go to the Louisiana Conservation Tillage home page or go to the printable version of Chapter 9.
This publication was designed to inspire producers considering moving to a conservation tillage system. As with conventional tillage, conservation tillage systems have hurdles that must be overcome. Technology exists to overcome all of these obstacles, however.
In addition, years of research have shown that conservation tillage systems 1) can significantly reduce overall energy inputs, 2) produce comparable yields to conventional tillage systems, 3) increase the water-holding capacity of the soil, thus reducing plant water stress, 4) create better harvesting conditions when the soil is saturated, 5) reduce nutrient loss by reducing runoff and increasing organic matter, 6) reduce the off-site movement of pesticides, 7) maintain a healthy environment for macro- and microorganisms, and 8) reduce erosion, thus maintain fertility and productivity of the land for future generations.
Working with experienced producers, as well as studying available conservation tillage literature produced by researchers and professions, will allow a successful transition to a reduced tillage or no-till farming operation. Improving scouting techniques, timeliness of pesticide applications and patience with the soil/nutrient balance can frustrate producers – but do not give up!
The LSU AgCenter and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offer a wealth of information on all of the benefits and pitfalls of adopting a conservation tillage system. Louisiana NRCS also offers financial assistance to qualified producers interested in adopting conservation tillage systems.
The links at the end of the digital version of this publication represent just a few of the resources available to assure a smooth transition to conservation tillage.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture