Are Conservative and Zero Tillage Systems Beneficial To Enhancing Soil Properties?

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Are Conservative and Zero Tillage Systems Beneficial To Enhancing Soil Properties? Introduction There are two types of tillage systems that farmers use today, conventional and conservative or zero tillage. Conservative tillage or zero tillage systems are operations where the fields that are seeded have minimal soil disturbance. Conventional tillage systems are operations where the soil has been plowed or cultivated and the soil has been overturned. Conservative tillage includes the uses of herbicides for weed control whereas conventional tillage controls weed growth by physical disturbance of the soil. In conventional soil systems the field is tilled at least two times prior to seeding. And in many instances the crop is turned to…show more content…
Lafond (2006) results were proven over a wide variety of growing conditions, which strengthens the fact that zero tillage practices are greatly superior in enhancing soil properties to those of conventional tillage practices. No. Arias-Estevez (2008) states that pesticides, which are used in zero tillage practices, are the most cost effective way of controlling weed and insect population in crops. Although using these chemicals is cost effective the pesticides can cause contamination of water, air and even food. The chemicals can be moved by run off and leaching which in turn causes contamination. This contamination causes negative health effects on humans and the environment in both long and short term. Although these chemicals are advantageous in s enhancing soil properties the fact that they occur in non-agricultural environments presents major environmental concerns. Conclusion Conservative tillage is the most beneficial farming practice when it comes to enhancing soil properties, as compared to conventional tillage practices. The main contributing factor in this decision of zero tillage over conventional tillage is the reduced disturbance of the soil. This reduced soil disturbance allows for the soil to better hold more water and nutrients. The quality of the soil is also greatly improved because of an increase in soil organic matter. However conservation tillage is

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