In this video agronomist Mark Scarpitti of USDA-NRCS Ohio state demonstrates the differences between tilled and no-till soils by doing two simple tests.
Slide test: In this test, a piece of soil is put in water to check how soil structure is held together. When water starts to rush into the porous spaces in the soil, tilled soil starts falling apart as there are nothing to hold the soil particles together. In no-till soil polysaccharides, glycogen and other matter produced by micro organisms binds the soil particle together and the soil structure is maintained.
Runoff test: In this test, mimicking the rain droplets, water is allowed to fall on the soil surface. As water hits the tilled soil surface, it does not infiltrate the soil, but instead it dissolves and seals off the top layer of soil, resulting in runoff.
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