Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Reduced tillage in organic farming (#journal)

Long-term feasibility of reduced tillage in organic farming

Soil tillage emits greenhouse gases, so reducing tillage could both reduce greenhouse emissions and improve soil quality. In Europe about 25 % of arable land is managed under reduced tillage, but a major drawback for organic farmers is the increase in weed infestation. This study compared reduced tillage and conventional tillage in a 2002–2011 field experiment in Switzerland. Weed abundance was 2.3 times higher under reduced tillage, however yields were similar for reduced tillage and conventional tillage. This study represents the first long-term trial under organic management showing that reduced tillage improves environmental performance.

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