The U.S. Department of Agri­culture’s Natural Resources Con­­servation Service (NRCS) is encouraging Iowa farmers to “Keep the Stubble” on their harvested crop fields to help improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.

The month-long campaign is called “No Tillage November,” and is based on the national cancer awareness No Shave November campaign. The NRCS campaign promotes improving soil health by not disturbing the soil this fall with tillage equipment.

“One of the primary soil health principles is ‘Do Not Disturb’ the soil with tillage,” said NRCS State Conservationist Kurt Simon. “By eliminating tillage, Iowa farmers will not only improve their soil health, but also water quality while saving time and money. This campaign is a fun way to remind farmers about the important relationship between tillage and soil health.”

Improving soil health increases soil biological activity, which provides erosion control and nutrient benefits and can simulate tillage.

Gene DeBruin is a no-tiller from Mahaska County. “I like knowing that there is biological activity below the ground,” he said. “You dig down six inches, and the earthworms are there, serving as my tillage tool.”

For more information about soil health and the No Tillage November campaign, please click here.