NRCS Practice Standard: Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (345)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (345)
Residue and tillage management, reduced till practice manages the amount, orientation, and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year-round while limiting the soil-disturbing activities used to grow and harvest crops in systems where the field surface is tilled prior to planting.
This practice includes tillage methods commonly referred to as mulch tillage where a majority of the soil surface is disturbed by noninversion tillage operations such as vertical tillage, chiseling, and disking, and includes tillage/planting systems with relatively minimal soil disturbance.
Mulch tillage includes the uniform spreading of residue on the soil surface, planning the number, sequence, and timing of tillage operations to achieve the prescribed amount of surface residue needed and using planting equipment designed to operate in high residue situations.
This practice benefits soil by increasing organic matter, improving soil tilth, and increases productivity as the constant supply of organic material left on the soil surface is decomposed by a healthy population of earth worms and other organisms.
Operations and maintenance for this practice includes evaluating the crop residue cover and orientation for each crop to ensure the planned amounts, orientation, and benefits are being achieved.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till (Code 345) is commonly applied with practices such as:
To view the national NRCS standard Residue and Tillage Management, Reduced Till please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY