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.