Conservation Tillage Demonstration Project, #MX97484903
Project Title: Conservation Tillage Demonstration Project
Project #: MX97484903
For a number of years, farmers in Mobile County, Alabama, expressed to their local Soil and Water Conservation District the need for a grain drill to promote conservation tillage systems. Until GMPO provided most of the funds, this was not a possible option.
Conservation tillage is a planting method that leaves at least 30 percent of the soil surface covered with crop residue after planting. This residue cover decreases the soil’s ability to migrate to local waters during precipitation events. A decrease in sediment (soil) and the attached pollutants (fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides) will improve water and habitat quality by reducing the amount of chemicals discharged into the ecosystem.
The grain drill is now available for Mobile County farmers to use who are interested in implementing conservation tillage on their farms. By September 2004, it is anticipated that the grain drill will be used on over 1400 acres. By introducing conservation tillage in this manner to farmers, they will be able to judge for themselves the advantages of these practices without making a significant investment in equipment. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Alabama Cooperative Extension Office will provide advice and technical expertise on conservation tillage systems.
The outcome of this project is that water quality and local habitats will be improved as farmers are educated about, and implement, conservation tillage practices.