Conservation tillage is a strategy and farming technique for establishing crops in the previous crop’s residues. These residues are intentionally left on the soil surface from the previous year. Effective conservation tillage will help battle soil erosion and has a number of other important benefits over regular conventional tillage, including:
- Improved water conservation
- Reduced fuel consumption
- Added planting and harvesting flexibility
- Reduced labor requirements
- Improved soil tilth
Conservation tillage can also improve overall air quality by reducing air pollution caused by dust and diesel emissions, because only half as many passes are needed when strip-tilling a field. Central Klickitat Conservation District has an Atchison No-Till Drill available for rent. A fully refundable $250.00 deposit is required, and the rental rate is $5.00/acre ($20.00 minimum). You will need a tractor with a 3-point hitch and least 45 horsepower. The drill can be transported behind a pick-up truck with a 2-inch ball hitch. CKCD purchased the drill with a grant from the Yakama Nations.