Before farmers were fooled to believe that tractor based farming is the way forward, traditional farmers used various ways of ploughing. From no tilling to precision tilling. Different land, different season, different crop, different tilling. Or No tilling at all.
There was not compulsion yet the outcome was precise, as per the needs of the soil.
Here, Inspector-General of Agriculture in India in 1900 confessed honestly that Indian Agriculture is just perfect. No improvement is needed. 🙂 If I boast about self, you will doubt. Here, a foreigner’s bias-free account.
Perfect blend of blessings by विश्वकर्मा देव & intuitions and hints gifted by माँ अदिति.
And we are taught in school and colleges that Indians were primitive, knew nothing about science and British actually taught them techniques and all by their modern education reforms.
Here is the latest research recommending reduced tillage for flourished microbial communities in soil. Re-confirming ancient scientific practices.
Soil microbes flourish with reduced tillage
It’s the microbes that matter most.
Microbes improve soil quality by cycling nutrients and breaking plant residues down into soil organic matter. In an effort to detect consistent patterns across a large geographical area, University of Illinois researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 62 studies examining the effect of tillage on soil microbes. No-till systems had greater soil microbial biomass and enzymatic activity. Tilled systems that used a chisel plow were equivalent to no-till systems, in terms of microbial biomass.
“Soil microbes are the workhorses of the soil. They break down crop residues and release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients back to the soil so they’re plant-available. We want a healthy, diverse microbial community so that those processes can happen and improve our soils,”
For the past several decades, farmers have been abandoning their plows in favor of a practice known as no-till agriculture. Today, about one-third of U.S. farmers are no longer tilling their fields, and still more are practicing conservation tillage—using equipment that only disturbs the soil to a minimal degree. No-till and, to a lesser degree, conservation tillage maintains or improves soil quality by preserving soil structure and moisture, increasing soil organic matter, and providing habitat for soil microbes.
“Helping the soil function better helps your crops grow better, and can also maintain high quality soil for sustainability purposes. In Illinois, we have such great soil; it’s our biggest resource. Farmers can help protect it by making sure the microbial community is healthy.”