No-till is a soil conservation practice that has been widely adopted by Midwestern farmers. Many have described it as a “win-win” for soil conservation because it offers benefits that are both environmental (minimized soil disturbance and erosion) and economic (lowered operating costs). However, critics and adopters alike acknowledge that no-till comes with trade-offs, ranging from increased reliance on herbicides to later starts in spring planting. While the benefits and trade-offs of no-till are still being debated, my latest research article shows how the appeal of no-till is that it advances soil conservation without fundamentally questioning industrial farming’s aspirations for ever-increasing efficiency and profitablility.
Published by nckawa
I'm a cultural and environmental anthropologist with interests in biodiversity management and smallholder agriculture in rural Amazonia. I've conducted research on agrobiodiversity management, anthropogenic soils, and community-based conservation. Currently, I'm also interested in the ways that farmers rely upon social networks, local ecological knowledge, and agrobiodiversity management to contend with the uncertainties of global climate change. View all posts by nckawa