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No-till: The basics

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Title: No-till: The basics
Author: Cruickshank, Lisa; Hayes, Adam; Kennedy, Brent; Shaw, Jaw
Abstract: In Ontario, soil erosion has moved thousands of tonnes of topsoil off cropland and into streams. This loss of topsoil leads to reduced organic matter levels, lower fertility and water-holding capacity which, in turn, reduces crop yields. Farmers find they may use more fertilizer to achieve a similar crop yield as in past years and soils tend to dry out faster. Water quality is also affected by the sediment and phosphorus loading causing poor aeration and loss of fish habitat. Costly dredging of harbours and drains is an end result of sediment loading. Many farmers in Ontario are realizing the need to save their precious resource—the soil. A number of conservation systems have been developed. Of these, the no-till system leaves the maximum amount of residue on the soil surface giving it the greatest potential for erosion control. For the last decade innovative farmers have been perfecting the no-till system. Many of the innovators have spent time experimenting and fine tuning the system to suit their farming conditions. Mistakes were made by all farmers the first years they tried no-till but as technology improved and more people became familiar with the system, no-till has proven successful on many farming operations across Ontario. The following is a summary of Ontario experience with the adoption of a no-till system. There is no set recipe for success with no-till, but with the consideration of the points made in this manual, the steps from conventional to no-till practices should be easier.
Date: 1990
Rights: In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights Holder: Agriculture Canada

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