Agricultural Practices and Systems

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Survey of Tillage Trends Following The Adoption of Glyphosate-Resistant Crops (2009)

A phone survey was administered to 1,195 growers in six states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Carolina). The survey measured producers' crop history, perception of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds, past and present weed pressure, tillage practices, and herbicide use as affected by the adoption of GR crops. This article describes the changes in tillage practice reported in the survey. The adoption of a GR cropping system resulted in a large increase in the percentage of growers using no-till and reduced-till systems. Tillage intensity declined more in continuous GR cotton and GR soybean (45 and 23%, respectively) than in rotations that included GR corn or non-GR crops. Tillage intensity declined more in the states of Mississippi and North Carolina than in the other states, with 33% of the growers in these states shifting to more conservative tillage practices after the adoption of a GR crop. This was primarily due to the lower amount of conservation tillage adoption in these states before GR crop availability. Adoption rates of no-till and reduced-till systems increased as farm size decreased. Overall, producers in a crop rotation that included a GR crop shifted from a relatively more tillage-intense system to reduced-till or no-till systems after implementing a GR crop into their production system..