BMP Spotlight – NO TILL

The best management practice of ‘no-till’ is just what is sounds like. A no-till field management system avoids disturbing soil with tools like chisel plows, field cultivators, disks, and plows. Plowing breaks up the soil surface or flips the top layer of soil which breaks up soil stability and incorporates nearly all crop residue deeper into the soil profile. No-till management of crop fields allows the previous year’s crop to help hold and cover bare soil. This helps retain soil on fields used for cropping. No-till relies on natural processes including healthy soil microbes to break down residue from the previous crop. The watershed benefits of no-till include improved soil structure and health, reduced potential for soil erosion, and reduced fuel use.