Tillage was once encouraged to prevent erosion …. ”roughening” the surface. Tillage implements reduce and remove pore spaces, restricting water infiltration and destroying the substances that hold the soil together…...leading to increased erosion. In addition, tillage increases the ponding of water because of reduced infiltration, depletes organic matter and allows soil to crust over and inhibit plant emergence.
Can we reverse the impacts from tillage and improve soil function? Yes, we can. Minimizing soil disturbance is a good start to rebuilding soil aggregates, pore spaces, soil glue and soil organic matter. This is an essential step for long-term soil productivity.