A majority of South Dakota farmers are using conservation tillage practices, with nearly 30-percent adopting that cropping system within the last decade. That’s according to a 2013 Cropping System Inventory just released by the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service. State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich says the study proves more South Dakota farmers are conservation leaders.
He says most of the shift to conservation farming has been voluntary. He attributes the interest to farmers desire to improve yield and lower input costs, but also to be more environmental.
With the recent push by food companies for more sustainable production, Zimprich says the study shows South Dakota farmers are already lowering their carbon footprint.
While overall acres under no-till increased, 16 counties in eastern South Dakota saw a decrease. Zimprich says those are counties where farmers have experienced yield drag due to cool and wet soil conditions.