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Vertical Tillage: The Future of Small Farms

Vertical Tillage: The Future of Small Farms

Tilling soil on small farms requires strategy. Vertical tillage involves the mixing of soil and residue. This means that nutrients get to remain for crops without compacting it to bits. The practice started as part of the conservation agriculture movement, but it has a foothold in modern practices.


But, what is tillage?

Tillage breaks down to three steps.

  1. Plowing – the process that deep turns soil. Plowing is the more intense version of tilling. Honestly, it’s what most traditional farmers imagine when they look for a tiller. But, it’s not the only way to prepare a field. Especially on the smaller scale.
  2. Disking – the process that tends to be favored by corn farmers. It often follows direct plowing in many regions. Disking is known for closing the furrow made by a deep plowing. That way the nutrients can stay in the soil.
  3. Harrowing – the process of breaking up and smoothing the soil. Plus, harrowing is probably the best for keeping air and water in the soil. If that wasn’t enough, harrowing can also be carried out after planting. Most farmers recommend harrowing after disking but feel out what you need for your small farm.

While the list is a basic run-through of the tillage principles, Small Farm Innovations feels that it gives many newer farmers a chance to learn some basic principles. Some of the older guys might even need a brush-up on some of the terms. That’s what we’re here to do, people. We’re here to help everyone in the Ag industry.

Final thoughts on Tillage

When you think of the small space optimized vertical tillage, which aspect plays closer to what you need? It’s something to think about when you browse the tillers available at Small Farm Innovations. If you get stuck on a model or have more questions, feel free to contact us.