Organic agriculture has a few vocal critics that focus on the ‘over-reliance’ on tillage to control weeds and incorporate organic amendments. One way to reduce tillage in organic productions systems is to use no-till termination on green manures. This leaves a mulch covering the soil surface, creating non-mechanical weed control, reducing costs, and improving soil health. However, research of no-till green manure termination has not looked very closely at how this unique system actually impacts soil health. My research and the broader pool of research in organic production systems indicates the same soil health benefits seen in conventional no-till systems do not necessarily carry over into no-till organic systems that incorporate green manures in rotation and that the use of green manures and other organic amendments could make organic systems more resilient to the disturbance caused by tillage.
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