Humans have been ploughing the earth to grow food since the beginning of time, so why are some farmers now choosing to turn their back on this traditional technique?
Some farmers are now embracing new ways of working as they believe ploughing to be bad for the environment.
Ploughing and the environment
It is thought that dragging a plough through the earth several times a year disturbs the soil and the living organisms within it, which then has a negative effect on soil quality.
What’s the alternative to ploughing?
“No till” farming is a method of farming which eliminates ploughing and minimises soil disturbance. Instead, farmers ensure that soil is never left bare. As soon as one crop is removed, “cover crops” are planted to protect the soil and keep pumping nutrients into it.
This method also prevents earthworms and other important organisms from being disturbed, so that their numbers can grow, resulting in more nutrient-rich soil with improved structure and drainage.
Benefits of no-till farming
No-till farming can benefit both the environment and the farmer, here are just some of the benefits:
- Reduces soil erosion.
- Improves soil quality.
- Builds soil organic matter.
- Saves time on ploughing.
- Reduces cost of labour and fuel.
- Improves water absorption.
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Natural weed control.
- Healthier crops due to nutrient-rich soil.
What machinery is required?
Farmers undertaking no-till farming use a piece of machinery called a cross slot drill which drills seeds directly into the unploughed ground. Although the initial cost of the equipment is similar to that of tillage machinery, the operating costs are far less.
For help financing the purchase of agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop.