That is how it appeared at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, this August at the largest outdoor agricultural equipment exhibition held in the United States.
This coveted show had strong participation from all major tractor & agricultural equipment companies from the United States & Canada, showcasing their product range, discussing the scope and the solution focused approach in meeting today’s challenges. Keywords like improved efficiency, lower costs per acre, precision, better yields, more profits to the farmers, faster, and multitasking were all the much buzzwords heard around.
I would like to zoom into one such tillage practice that has picked up great momentum, specially on the large acre farming across the US, and that is Vertical Tillage.
So, what is Vertical Tillage (VT)?
Vertical tillage practice have created quite a stir, unlike how they do it on the ground. It creates lesser soil disturbance, better residue management (by sizing it) and helps in improving the health of the soil (better soil—better crop—better results to the farmers).
A fair number of equipment manufacturers and farmers suggested that this practice helps farmers with better profits too. Quite environmental friendly, VT helps reduce water and wind erosion. It already seems to be getting friendlier with farmers who got sizable farms in the United States.
I am sure there is enough rationality behind the usage, since we know that nothing changes as fast in the agricultural industry.
On the other hand, the conventional tillage that uses the plows, heavy disking and other tillage tools, create a much stronger soil disturbance and cuts, chops and mixes the residue very well. Both practices have their pros and cons, however, depending on the experience of different farmers and their peers, the VT and conventional tillage practices continue to turn the soil, with VT picking more growth, as per my understanding on certain crops and with bigger farmlands. Let us see what the future holds, more of VT or more of balancing between the two.