Conservation Tillage


Erosion on Old Rotation1Erosion on Old Rotation2For the first 101 years of the Old Rotation (1896-1996), all crops were planted using some type of conventional tillage operation. The land was turned in the early spring to incorporate winter cover crops or old crop residue, disked or field cultivated to smooth soil surface, planted in rows up to 40-inches wide, and then cultivated several times during the growing season to control weeds. Chemical weed control became a standard cultural practice after 1960. In 1997 with the advent of Bollgard (BG)® and Roundup Ready (RR)® cotton and Roundup Ready® soybean, the entire experiment was switched to “conservation tillage” or “minimum tillage”. The only tillage implement used since that time has been an in-row subsoiler or para-till that does minimum surface soil disturbance. All crops are planted using no tillage or minimum tillage.