Corn planter with a no-till farming system in Brookings, Co., SD (13873956965).jpg

Farming practice, also known as zero tillage. The farmer does not plough the field (after harvest and/or before sowing), or uses a different type of plough[1] that does not dig up and turn over (rotates) the soil-layers as much as conventional ploughing will cause.

Thought to be a more sustainable practice because it can reduce emissions and prevent erosion, depletion of water (humidity) and nutrients (nitrogen and carbon) from the soil in the field. And therefore considered to increase yield and to prevent eutrophication of surrounding ditches and water-ways.

Description[edit | edit source]

There are several different modified versions of No-till farming. They are all generally thought to be more appropriate and profitable[2][3] if performed correctly.

Less ploughing of the field are considered to reduce labour,[4] fuel,[5] irrigation and machinery costs. Can increase yield of the crops and slightly reduce need for fertilizers.


  • Ploughing are thought to increase evaporation, erosion and making valuable nutrients and humidity in the soil be released and dispersed into the air. So the farmer could skip the ploughing completely, or use a carefully chosen ploughing method[6] that does not erupt the layers that is full of nutrients and organic material.

Ploughing was originally developed to chop up residue from the harvest and to prevent or destroy weeds growing (by cutting off the root systems)


  • For farms with certain soil types there could arise a need for special sowing equipment, because the top-layer of the soil can become harder, more compact and less penetrable than it would have been if ploughed conventionally.

Other practices that can complement no-till farming:

Equipment used[edit | edit source]

Equipment is restricted to planting/drilling:

  • NT planter (more than 10 models), derived from the prototype 'Gralha Azul', conceived by

the Instituto Agronômico do Paraná (IAPAR)

  • NT planter (four manufacturers), derived from the 'fucador plow', developed by a smallholder farmer
  • jab planters ('matraca') for direct manual planting; includes optional fertilizer dispenser;
  • manual and animal-drawn sprayers
  • knife-roller ('rolo faca' or small Argentine roll). Alternatively, steel bars can be welded on top of the discs of disc harrows and the implement can then be used as a knife-roller
  • Magoye ripper


  1. wikipedia:Plough#Chisel plough
  2. D.L. Beck, J.L. Miller, and M.P. Hagny "Successful No-Till on the Central and Northern Plains "
  3. Economics of No-till farming. Experiences from Latin America}}
  4. Time savings from no-till are the result of fewer passes over a field being needed and/or less time for each pass.
  6. wikipedia:Plough#Chisel plough
  7. Push pull farming explained

Further reading[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svgAngle down icon.svgPage data
Keywords land degradation gallery
Authors Johan Löfström, KVDP
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 12 pages link here
Impact 498 page views
Created January 6, 2011 by KVDP
Modified May 26, 2022 by Pedro Kracht
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