Deep plowing

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Deep plowing is a plowing to a depth greater than 50 cm (20 in) as compared to ordinary plowing which rarely exceeds 20 cm (8 in).[1] The purpose of deep plowing is to modify the soil water retention characteristics over the long term.[1] In one long term test, lasting 35 years, the mean annual grain yield was 2,800 lbs per acre (3,138 kg per ha) with deep plowing, which was 10% greater than the 2,550 lbs per acre (2,858 kg per ha) yield in unplowed plots.[1]

There is a movement away from plowing altogether, and from deep plowing in particular.[2] The theory is that this will stop the loss of topsoil, increase the organic content of soil and reduce runoff of fertilizer and pesticides into rivers.[2] Another part of the no-plowing theory is that ground moisture would be conserved; but this was shown to be incorrect by a 35 year study.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Baumhardt, R.L.; Jones, R.C.; Schwartz (2008). "Long term effects of profile-modifying deep plowing on soil properties and crop yield.". oil Science Society of America Journal (Soil Science Society of America) 72: 677–682. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b