The tillage definitions you were asking about are (briefly) 1. No-till
- minimizing seed bed preparation to just the cutting of a slit in the
existing ground cover (sod, cover crop, last year's unincorporated crop
residue), dropping the seed and pressing the slit closed with press
wheels. This method can be used with or without chemicals, depending on
other factors. 2. Minimum (reduced) tillage - shredding crop residues
after harvest to provide ground cover during winter, followed by just
enough tillage in the spring to allow seed drills proper access.
Generally the term minimum tillage is used where at least 30% of the
field surface is covered by last year's crop residue after planting of
the new crop has been completed. There are several different methods of
reduced tillage and specialized equipment for some of those methods.
3. Ridge tillage - using cultivating tools to create planting ridges a
few inches higher than the between row area. Primarily used where soils
have a hard time drying out in the spring in time to plant. The middles
are often left with last year's crop residue as an additional protection
against erosion. 4. Conventional tillage - plow, disk, spray, plant.
Liked your description of the Soil Saver tillage tool. Sounds pretty
much like the para plow.
Strip cropping is and can be an effective erosion fighter, but is not
always suitable to the terrain. For instance, it is used extensively in
Wisconsin, but rarely anymore in Tennessee. Different terrain,
different soils, different agriculture.
Define marginal land. There is such a thing, but in between really
marginal land and really good crop land there is a lot of land that
could be defined either way, depending on your perspective.
Lespedeza (sericea?) has been used successfully as a soil
saver/builder. However, there are many other plant types available to
farmers now that are easier to manage and provide more usable
production. I do not recommend use of sericea anymore, like I did 20+
Son of Richard
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