At the turn of the century, strip-tillage and no-tillage were used on less than 1% of California’s annual crop land. Tillage practices in the state had in fact, changed very little for the prior 90 years.
Since that time however, a variety of motivations have now led to major reductions in overall tillage disturbance in several cropping sectors, as well as increased in the use of several variations on the strip-tillage theme in vegetables, but particularly in silage corn production, and more recently, at organic farms.
Working with the Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) Center, Jeff Mitchell, cropping extension specialist with the University of California-Davis, has been active in leading the evolution of new, reduced-disturbance systems with many farmer and private sector partners.
In today’s Strip-Till Farmer podcast, supported by the National Strip-Tillage Conference, Jeff shares some of the origins and more recent advances in strip-till techniques being applied to California crops.