Module 7.2: Conservation Agriculture: A Systems Approach
Tillage can incorporate soil amendments such as fertilizers; bury weed seeds and crop residues that may harbor diseases and insects; remove residue that insulates the soil and promotes soil warming and crop seed germination and growth. Tillage can also cause soil erosion, disrupt soil organisms and soil structure; and remove residues that slow water run-off and evaporation, conserving soil moisture. Conservation tillage practices can reduce or eliminate the need for tillage, and the integration of perennials and cover crops can also protect soil from erosion and contribute to improving soil quality. In Module 7.2, we explore tillage and cropping practices that farmers can employ and integrate to conserve and improve their soil for long-term farm productivity.