Development and Implementation of No-Till Systems in Tennessee
Walker, F. R.  2015.  Nutrient Management and Edge of Field Monitoring: From the Great Lakes to the Gulf. Dec. 1 to 3, 201.

Abstract:
Tennessee has been at the forefront in the development of reduced tillage and no-till methods since the 1970s. Today no-till has become the “conventional” tillage of the state with 74.8 % of all crops in the state being planted to no-till and 15% other conservation tillage practices in 2012 compared with only 19.1 % in 1993. In 2012 the United States Department of Agriculture reported only 10.1% (or 310,000 acres) of conventionally tilled soils (plowing, power tilling or multiple disking) in the state. High rates of adoption of no-till are due in part to the extremely erodible loess-derived soils of west Tennessee, the development of effective planting equipment and weed management systems. Today the major advantages of no-till for farmers in Tennessee are both economic and environmental. Production costs for no-till are not increased when compared to tilled systems, and may be less in some cases. No-till systems use less fuel and labor, and in the long-term have lower machinery costs. Improvements in soil quality are observed under no-till compared to tilled systems. Increases in soil organic matter, more stable soil aggregates, and improved infiltration have resulted in reductions in soil erosion. Yields from no-till are generally similar to tilled systems on flat or gently sloping sites, and are increased on sloping sites. Concerns that yields might decline due to compaction, disease, insects, depletion of phosphorus or acidification of the soil have not been observed and no-till yields have tended to increase relative to tilled over time. No-till systems in Tennessee continue to improve. Weed management and soil fertility challenges do still exist for some cropping systems and some soil types.