Farmers have choices for how they prepare the soil; reduce weed growth; incorporate fertilizer, manure, and organic matter into the soil; and seed their crops, including the number of tillage operations and tillage depth. No-till is generally the least intensive form of tillage. Approximately 35 percent of U.S. cropland (88 million acres) planted to eight major crops had no-till operations in 2009, according to estimated tillage trends based on 2000-07 data from USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). Furthermore, the use of no-till increased over time for corn, cotton, soybeans, rice, and wheat—the crops for which the ARMS data were sufficient to calculate a trend.
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