South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service releases cropping systems inventory results

Jan 15, 2016

No-till farming appears to grow in popularity

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

According to the 2015 South Dakota Cropping Systems Inventory, no-till agriculture in the Mount Rushmore State is gaining in popularity.

The inventory, which acts as a ‘snapshot in time’ for the cropping systems farmers employ, noticed a few major changes, including:

  • 46 per cent, or 6.75 million acres of South Dakota crop land, predominantly use no-till techniques
  • A cropping system which leaves more than 30 per cent residue cover on the soil is used on more than 65 per cent of the state’s farmland
  • 17 counties in South Dakota have more than 75 per cent of their land under no-till systems

Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich said the information could have profound impacts on farmers who may not be using no-till cropping.

“It shows them that this planting method is gaining a lot of momentum,” he said in an interview with Jody Heemstra on SD Ag Chat. “I think it helps them consider if this would make sense on their farm.”

Zimprich said no-till can help farmers on the financial side as well.

“I think it’s got potential to curb costs, which are very important right now when we look at commodity prices,” he said.

Zimprich also outlined soil health, sustainability and field resilience as other reasons why no-tillage may be an option for farmers in South Dakota.

Agriculture is South Dakota’s premier industry with an economic impact of more than $21 billion annually and employing more than 122,000 people.

Do you currently use no-till on your farm? What are the benefits? If you currently use conventional tilling techniques would you consider switching?

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