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Cultivation technique in which the soil is disturbed only along the slit or hole into which seeds are planted. Reserved detritus from previous crops covers and protects the seedbed. Primary benefits are a decreased rate of soil erosion; reduced need for equipment, fuel, and fertilizer; and significantly less time required for tending crops. The method also improves soil-aggregate formation, microbial activity in the soil, and water infiltration and storage. Conventional tillage controls weed growth by plowing and cultivating, but till-less agriculture selectively uses herbicides to kill weeds and the remains of the previous crop. Till-less agriculture is one of several primitive farming methods revived as conservation measures in the 20th century.
Variants of TILL-LESS AGRICULTURE
till-less agriculture or no-till farming
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on till-less agriculture, visit Britannica.com.
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