Tilling is an agricultural process that utilizes machanical methods to agiate the soil in preparation for planting. This process occurs from shovels all the way to rotarys that do this process on an industrial level. Tilling is done because it increase contact between the soil an seed increasing chances of the plant surviing and growing. This process has some benefits for the soil as tilling the top aerates the soil, mixes nutrients from decayed plant matter on the surface, and dries the soil giving greater survival rates for seeds. Tilling though has many negatives effects on soil. By disturbing the soil erosion increses from the loose dirt, increase water runoff resulting in less water on the landscacpe, eutrophication and silt in water sources like rivers and streams and more. Newer methods are now avaible that decrease these negatives without reduction in positive outcomes related to tilling.
No-till is a technique meant to reduce the negative effects of tilling. This method involves direct seeding where seeds are placed on top of the soil or dug into a hole then covered back by machinery. This method reduce erosion of soil while also retaining more water and nutirents because the integrity of the soil is not disturbed. Additionally, because the soil matter is retained carbon is sequester in greater abundance from no-till helping offset global warming. The largest issue with the no-till method is tilling removes weeds and because this process is not occuring more herbicide is required for weed control. Both methods have positives and negatives which is better for the future.