In a comparative test between No-till and conventionally sown wheat, it was found that in dry conditions there was an increased yield when the soil was not tilled. It was Agco’s “Agronomy and Advanced Farm Solutions team” who came to this conclusion after a test in Zambia. With the changing climate, these results could also inspire farmers in Europe.
Agco is not only the name behind brands such as Valtra, Massey Ferguson and Fendt, but also conducts hands-on research to assist farmers worldwide. On their experimental farm in Zambia, the difference in yield between wheat on tilled and un-tilled land was investigated. This field test showed that the wheat in untreated soil had up to 20% more yield than the same wheat in cultivated soil.
The researchers cite 2 factors that led to this surplus yield. Since the crop residues (maize straw) remained on the uncultivated field and the soil was not disturbed, evaporation of moisture was prevented. The moisture thus preserved in the soil could be used by the plants. The tilled soil could dry out much more, resulting in reduced plant growth.