Every fall and spring, producers are faced with tillage decisions for the next crop year. Generally, tillage— whether for corn or soybean—has shown limited are challenging. As preparations for spring field operations are underway, producers need to stop and think about the choice of tillage system, given the challenges faced with energy prices and the associated cost of conventional tillage operations. Primary tillage, such as with a chisel plow or subsoiler, often requires 1–1.5 gallons of fuel per acre or more. A secondary tillage pass through the field with a field cultivator or disk may use 0.5 to 0.7 gallon of fuel per acre. These additional fuel costs for tillage operations, in addition to other input costs, make conservation tillage and no-tillage, in particular, a far better choice given the insignificant yield differences.
Al-Kaisi, Mahdi; Licht, Mark; and Hanna, Mark, "Is tillage needed for your soybean crop?" (2006). Integrated Crop Management News. 2354.
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