No-till percentages increased between 2000 and 2007

A line chart showing no till percentages of some major crops.

Most U.S. farmers prepare their soil for seeding and weed and pest control through tillage operations that disturb the soil. Tillage practices affect soil carbon, water pollution, and farmers' energy and pesticide use. Approximately 35 percent of U.S. cropland (88 million acres) planted to eight major crops had no-till operations in 2009, according to ERS researchers who estimated tillage trends based on 2000-07 data from USDA's Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). The crops-barley, corn, cotton, oats, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat-constituted 94 percent of total planted U.S. acreage in 2009. This chart was published in the ERS report, "No-Till" Farming Is a Growing Practice, EIB-70, November 2010.

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