Labor Requirements

The labor requirements for any tillage system varies by the operations conducted, the width of the implement, and the operating speed.  Assuming a 100 hp tractor and matching the equipment for average soil conditions, these are the typical labor requirements for various row crop tillage systems.

 

Typical Labor Requirements, hours per acre
 Operation Plow Chisel Disk Ridge
Plant
 Strip-till No-till
 Shred stalks        0.17    
 Moldboard plow  0.38          
 Chisel plow    0.21        
 Knife fertilize  0.13  0.13  0.13  0.13  0.20  0.13
 Disk  0.16    0.16      
 Disk or field cultivate  0.16  0.16  0.16      
 Plant  0.21  0.21  0.21  0.25  0.21  0.21
 Cultivate  0.18  0.18    0.36*    
 Spray      0.06    0.11*  0.11*
 Total  1.22  0.89  0.72  0.91  0.52  0.45

* Operation performed twice

 

Labor savings allow a larger area to be farmed without additional equipment or help. Even if increased acreage is not anticipated, more timely planting may result in greater yields. In addition, costs for tractors, tillage equipment, and maintenance will be less with fewer tillage operations.