Environmental and production cost impacts of no-till: estimates from observed behavior
No-till has been promoted as a cultivation method that reduces both production costs and the environmental impacts of farming relative to conventional tillage. Using farm-level data from Finland, we show that no-till has no statistically significant effect on total variable costs but that it increases the use of plant protection products and fertilizers, and decreases the use of labor. An environmental impact simulation combining the results on input use with a nutrient and herbicide runoff model predicts that no-till produces environmental benefits on highly erodible land, but may be even detrimental to the environment in average conditions.
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