There’s more tilling going on in Illinois farm fields. “The switch from no-till to the mulch-till is probably associated with those wet springs we had a couple of years ago,” says Alan Gulso, a land and water resources specialist at the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Mulch-till leaves at least 30 percent of the residue in the fields and is seen as an alternative to no-till to stop erosion.
Click For Summary[/audio}
Gulso has completed a statewide soil conservation survey to determine no-till farming has declined from 33.2 percent to 24.2 percent since 2006. In the same period, mulch-till is up from 16.4 percent to 21.4 percent.
In a news release, Jim Larkin, acting director of the department, said, “Conservation tillage … prevents soil erosion and improves water quality. It is also good for farmers because it preserves fertile farmland and ensures our agricultural production is sustainable for generations to come.”