No-till can increase earthworm populations and rooting depths

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Soil and Water Conservation Society

This article describes the benefits of no-till farming in terms of water retention, soil protection, and the promotion of some earthworm populations. By practicing no-till farming, plant residues remain on the surface, which helps prevent runoff of water and increase water infiltration into the soil. An additional benefit of residue retention is the increase in earthworm populations, which in turn promotes deeper rooting of plants. These "nightcrawlers" dig deep down into the soil and create holes where roots can deeply penetrate and reach groundwater supplies, improving overall plant health. Because crop production is frequently limited by insufficient water supply, the article suggests that adopting no-till farming practices could have huge implications for improved crop yields and food security.

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Food security, Groundwater, Soil fertility, No-till, Earthworms, Residue retention, Nightcrawler, Lumbricus terrestris, Rooting depth, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Stomata, Water retention, Absorption, Holding capacity, Runoff infiltration trade-off, Field Scale
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 66(1): 13A-17A