Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
University of California
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation

About CT in CA

Introduction to conservation tillage

The following documents provide an introduction to conservation tillage in California, a cropping system in which plant residue from an earlier crop or a cover crop is left on the soil when a new crop is planted.

A variety of techniques can be used, including no-till, a system in which the soil is not disturbed between crops; strip-till, in which a thin strip is tilled for a seed bed; and ridge-till, with cultivation at the top of the planting bed, but not in the furrows.

Classification of Conservation Tillage Practices in California Irrigated Row Crop Systems
February 2009
Some of the tillage systems that were recently introduced in California resemble well-known forms of conservation tillage, such as no-tillage and strip-tillage. However, many of the new systems are quite different from these better-known forms.

Strip Tillage in California's Central Valley
January 2009
Strip-tillage is a form of conservation tillage that clears crop residues in a narrow zone of soil and loosens subsoil layers prior to planting. Strip-tillage decreases both the volume of soil that is disturbed and the amount of dust that is typically generated in intercrop tillage, and it also reduces fuel, labor, and equipment costs when compared with traditional broadcast tillage.

Conservation Tillage Tomato Production in California's San Joaquin Valley
January 2009
In California's Central Valley, CT approaches are receiving interest as a means to cut costs and reduce dust and diesel fuel emissions from production fields. This publication summarizes recent advances in the development of CT tomato production and describes what CT tomato systems might look like.

Conservation Tillage in Tomato Production at Sano Farm, Firebaugh, CA
December 2009
Sano Farm is a 4,000-acre farm in the Westlands Water District of western Fresno County. This report summarizes how the Sano Farm refined its production system for processing tomatoes with the use of cover crops, subsurface drip irrigation and conservation tillage practices.

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