Maybe it’s something you’ve never thought about. I’m betting it isn’t.
But when I was a little girl growing up in a small central IL farming community, my dad used to get up bright and early in the cool and damp days of early spring and till his fields.
He’d turn over the dirt. Prepare a nice seed bed for those tiny seeds he was paying quite a bit of cash for. Hoping to get the very best plants that would produce new seeds so I could have clothes and food and schooling that year.
But when I was a bit older, I remember that he stopped tilling the soil. He stopped turning over the dirt and preparing a beautiful seed bed for those seeds. And he lamented how he’d never get used to the look of a field with last year’s left over stalks and leaves (residue, we call it!) with beautiful rows of barely visible green plants popping up in between.
He stopped tilling the soil, not because he was lazy or didn’t care anymore, but because science told him it was better.
This is how farmers get better and more efficient growing our food. Because you know what reduced tillage does?
- Prevents soil erosion
- Prevents unnecessary trips over the field and uses less diesel
- Reduces carbon footprint
- Promotes healthy soils
Are you interested in learning how farmers are using science to get better at growing your food? Do you want to know how changes in farming practices have benefited the environment over time? It’s all right here.