Good Soil Structure


Residues
Residues that are allowed to rot on the soil surface are incorporated into the soil by soil fauna as soil organic matter (SOM)

Soil organic matter
SOM is the feed-stuff of millions of beneficial soil microbes that build soil structure. Good soil structure positively influences crop yield and halts soil erosion, but is otherwise destroyed by all forms of tillage (there are no exceptions).

CO2 emissions
Tillage discharges large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere through aeration. No-tillage greatly reduces this. The less the disturbance the less the CO2 discharge. Cross Slot openers achieve the least disturbance of all.

Soil biology
Only now are soil biologists realising that tillage has been distorting the soil biological eco-system for centuries and that new levels of crop yield may be attainable under continuous low-disturbance no-tillage
.

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Same soil that has been conventionally cultivated for
50 years. Note the severe soil compaction to full tillage depth.
Soil that has been undisturbed for
50 years (Ukraine) Note the strong crumb structure, organic matter and pore spaces.
Same soil that has been conventionally cultivated for 40 years then minimum tillage for 9 years. Note the compaction still in the top 75mm but deeper layers are recovering to good soil structure.