10. An overview of no-till technology in the concept of conservation agriculture

Author: Svetoslava Kochovska, Katya Dimitrova, Yordanka Kartalska


This review article summarises some of the most important terms and definitions of the vocabulary used in conservation agriculture (CA) and no-till technology (NT). It also presents the concepts and foundation principle of CA. The article cites selected sources with detailed historical notes and a chronological narrative about the development of the concept of conservational agriculture, machinery, devices and techniques that no-till technology applies. Due to the vastness of CA as a subject, the current review deals very briefly with some of the topics such as economic benefit, weed control, cover crop and crop rotation, use of herbicides. The availability of controversial results about no-till does not allow any final conclusion about the feasibility of that technology. It could be expected that on different soils, in different geographical conditions, depending on the machinery used and the combination of particular elements of the technology, the outcome of its adoption is highly probable to be different. Despite this variability in technology adoption, in cases of no significant reduction in crop yield, the application of technology seems worthy due to the ecological benefits which it provides. However, there is another important consideration that should be taken into account in NT adoption – any expectations for quick revenue should not be considered feasible because ecological sustainability could only be achieved in a long-term application of CA and NT.

Keywords: conservation agriculture, no-till, weed control cover crop, crop rotation, occasional tillage