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The 3 Types of Soil Tillage

The 3 Types of Soil Tillage

1. Conventional tillage

Some farmers use machines like a plow or disc to turn over and loosen the soil after harvest (a process called tillage). This can leave the soil exposed to rain and wind, which can sometimes lead to erosion (wearing away) of the topsoil that is needed to grow a crop.

2. Conservation tillage

This is a technique for planting seed that minimizes the disruption of soil and therefore helps prevent soil erosion. Farmers use special equipment to plant seeds, leaving most of the residues (e.g. stalks) of the previous crop intact. Planting in this way allows the crop residue to break down, which adds organic matter (like composting) while protecting the soil from erosion.

3. No-till

No-till works in the same way as conservation tillage, but there is less disruption of soil (e.g. the planter does not go as deep into the soil to plant the seeds, and no crop residue is turned over.)73 No-till practices are used in 56.4 per cent of all area prepared for seed in Canada.74