Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
University of California
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation

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Conservation Tillage Production Generates Less Dust
The US Environmental Protection Agency designated the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) a serious non-attainment area for PM10, particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10µm. PM10 can bypass the body’s respiratory defense mechanisms and has been linked to cardiac and lung diseases. Because air quality violations occur during periods of intense tillage activity, row crop agriculture has been pinpointed as a major contributor of PM10. Conservation tillage (CT) production systems that reduce or eliminate tillage have been developed in other regions. Less than 2 percent of California’s annual acreage uses CT approaches. Do CT production practices reduce dust and can they be developed for California crops?

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