Submitted to: Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2013
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Citation: Digman, M.F. 2013. Saving time and fuel during tillage. In: Proceedings of the Idaho Hay and Forage Conference, February 28-March 1, 2013, Burley, Idaho. p. 42-43.
As with any farm operation, the value of tillage must be weighed against its cost. The first costs to consider are labor, fuel, and machinery. These costs are estimated to range from $9 to $19 per acre, depending on the field operation and equipment used. Additionally, tillage can increase costs of subsequent field operations as loose soil reduces tractive efficiency, adding further cost to operations such as planting. Finally, some tillage costs are harder to quantify, including the risk of soil erosion and nutrient loss. Conversely, tillage can have many positive impacts on crop production. These impacts can include remediating soil compaction, managing crop residues, and providing favorable spring planting conditions.