No-Till Farming

THE Way to Combat Rising Operational Costs

For farmers across the country, it comes as no surprise to hear that conservation tillage practices — particularly continuous no-till — can save time and money compared to conventional tillage.


There are countless benefits to the land, the farmer and the environment from adopting a no-till system.


  • Drastically increases water infiltration: Estimates suggest crop residues provide as much as 2” of additional water to crops in late summer and the Natural Resources Conservation Service states that no-till farmed soils have a water penetration rate of 5.6” per hour, twice as much as for conventionally tilled land.


  • Terrific savings in fuel costs: One estimate suggests that running the tractor less (utilizing no-till practices) can reduce fuel usage by as much as 80%. . Healthier soil — increased biodiversity. Organisms like mycorrhizal fungi, which benefit both the plant, crop roots, and earthworms, are allowed to flourish through no-till farming.


  • Reduced labor hours/cost: An estimate by Purdue University calculates that a farmer will save 225 hours of labor per year for a 500 acre farm; the equivalent of four 60-hour work weeks saved a year.
Genetic Literacy Project, “Science Not Ideology,” June 2016

Compost is Key to No-Till Farming Practice

Compost is Key to No-Till Farming Practice

Compost can greatly enhance the physical structure of soil.


Thanks to its many attributes, compost is extremely versatile and beneficial in many applications. Compost has the unique ability to improve the properties of soils and growing media physically (structurally), chemically (nutritionally), and biologically. Although some equate the benefit of compost use to lush green growth, caused by plant-available nitrogen, the real benefits of using compost are long-term and related to its organic matter content.


When used in sufficient quantities, the addition of compost has both an immediate and long-term positive impact on soil structure. It resists compaction in fine textured soils, increases water holding capacity and improves soil aggregation in coarse-textured (sandy) soils.


Although often seen as a good source of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, compost also contains a considerable variety of macro and micronutrients essential for plant growth.

Rate Source: University of Idaho Extention