What is No-Till Drilling?
No-till drilling is one of a handful of conservation tillage techniques that reduce soil disturbance to decrease erosion and soil run-off. Other less aggressive forms of this practice include strip-tillage, ridge-tillage, and zone-tillage. Unlike traditional chisel plow planting methods, no-till systems loosen narrow, shallow strips of soil into existing plant residue with a conservation planter or seed drill, depending on the crop. For those converting to no-till from a traditional tillage system, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure the success of the practice, and the benefits no-till offers will take time to observe. Some of these practices include being more mindful of weed control and compaction.
As outlined by SARE, no-till drilling offers the following soil health benefits:
Reduced soil disturbance
Requires fewer trips over the field
Reduces energy use
Provides more surface residue cover and erosion protection