From droughts to flooding, extreme hydrological phenomena are the costliest hazards in rainfed agriculture. A recent journal article explores how a long-term tillage study in northeast Nebraska can offer insights on successfully adapting to future climate changes by adjusting specific management practices.
No-till November, a USDA NRCS campaign, encourages farmers to park their tillage implements this fall, in favor of keeping crop residue on the soil surface. Using no-till as a system reduces erosion, runoff, and soil moisture evaporation.
No-till seeding alfalfa can help preserve crop residue on the soil surface, reduce soil erosion, limit weed seeds on the soil surface, and perhaps most importantly this year, help conserve soil moisture.
Crop residue, cover crops, and no-till farming practices can provide a positive buffering effect to changes in climate and extreme weather events. Together they can help keep more water and soil on-farm and contribute to improved soil health.
How do different tillage systems affect CO2 and what factors contribute to fluxes? These were the questions addressed by students and agronomists studying long-term tillage and no-till plots in eastern Nebraska.