MOUNT VERNON — No-till farming practices and the planting of cover crops not only reduce soil erosion, they improve soil health, Jay McElroy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service told the Knox County Farmers’ Breakfast on Tuesday.
McElroy, who works out of the Zanesville office and farms in Noble County, illustrated his points with a couple simple demonstrations, utilizing soil samples from a field where no-till is employed and from one 100 feet away which has been farmed using conventional tillage.
In the first demonstration, he had dry samples of the otherwise identical soils placed in containers of water. The sample from the field with conventional filed started crumbling almost immediately. When he pulled it from the water and broke it open, he showed how the inner part of the sample was still dry. Only the surface had absorbed any water.
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