Reduced Tillage Systems

Last updated: February 1, 2017

What Does Reduced Tillage Systems Mean?

A reduced tillage system reduces soil erosion by leaving 15 to 30% of residual material to cover the soil. It reduces fuel use and tillage time significantly and improves overall soil health. This may be implemented by changing traditional full tillage methods for less comprehensive tillage implements like chisel plows or subsoilers.

Safeopedia Explains Reduced Tillage Systems

Full tillage systems leave the soil exposed to wind and weather, resulting in soil erosion that causes a loss of valuable topsoil. Organic matter is stripped from the soil, resulting in reduced soil fertility. Reduced tillage systems are often used with additional soil conservation measures, such as cover crops that keep the soil surface protected allowing for conservation of topsoil and organic matter. Proponents of this method report equal or better yields, and lower use of resources.


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