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6 Benefits Of Shallow Tillage And How You Can Practise It


Shallow tillage is a form of tillage that involves minimal soil disruption, usually up to a depth of 5-10 cm. In contrast to deep tillage, where the soil is overturned to depths of 20 cm or more, it seeks to maintain the natural structure and makeup of the soil.

Equipment, such as harrows, can be utilised for performing shallow tillage. These tools are intended to break up surface compaction and loosen the upper layer of soil without disrupting the underlying layers.

Kelly Tillage’s biggest 8024 Diamond Harrow has a 24-metre cut width and a well-built 16,800-kilogram frame. This machine is unmatched in its ability to cover a lot of ground, working on 20-25 hectares per hour. You won’t find a larger or more capable machine than this when it comes to minimum tillage.

Reduced tillage is frequently implemented in conservation agriculture to promote soil health and minimise soil erosion.

The Model 40 Diamond Harrow of Kelly Tillage System is a great fit for many farming needs.

With a cutting width of 12 metres and the ability to perform shallow tillage in various ways, this model is equipped to handle any task you give it. 

Shallow tillage can offer advantages in numerous ways, like increasing crop productivity and soil health. The benefits of light tillage also include the following:

Fix Soil Compaction 

Soil compaction is a big problem for farmers, and fixing it is an important step for improving crop production. The soil needs the right balance of air, minerals, water, and organic matter to help crops grow well. 

But when the soil gets compacted, it can be hard for air and water to move through it, making it difficult for plants to grow properly. Compacted soil can also make both dry and wet conditions worse for crops. 

The good news is that light tillage can help resolve this problem, and that can help farmers grow better crops while taking care of the land.  

Residue Management

3009 Diamond Harrow is most suitable for residue management, having a cut width of 8.8 metres.

Shallow tillage can be used to manage crop residue in several ways. Residue refers to the plant material left on the soil surface after a crop has been harvested, such as stalks, leaves, and other plant parts.


It can bury leftover plants (called crop residue) in the soil. This helps the leftover plants break down and gives nutrients back to the soil. It can be very helpful in fields with a lot of leftover plants that need to be taken care of.


Mixing leftover plants with the soil is another way to manage residue using shallow tillage. This can spread the organic matter evenly throughout the soil, making it better structured.


Sometimes, light tillage can be used to take away leftover plants completely from the field, and this can be done by using a special farm implement.

Moisture Balance 

By implementing reduced tillage, you can reduce soil disturbance and keep or add important organic matter to the soil. 

This can help control moisture in dry places because the more organic matter in the soil, the more water it can hold. 

Shallow tillage can also help water get into the soil better by making it less dense and letting soil organisms live in the soil. Farmers can use minimal tillage in wet places to help the soil dry out faster and warm up quicker, which means they can plant crops earlier.

Optimising Soil Fertility and Productivity

Healthy soil is a valuable but limited resource, and it is important to prioritise its preservation and enhancement. 

While approaches such as reduced tillage can aid in correcting soil health issues, it may take several years to reverse problems such as erosion and compaction. 

However, every effort towards soil conservation can make a significant difference. Light tillage can lead to numerous benefits, such as enhanced soil quality, increased organic matter, improved filtration, and decreased soil erosion, all of which can contribute to better yields and sustainability in agriculture.

Weed Control 

Shallow tillage can uproot young and shallow-rooted weeds, preventing them from growing and reproducing. 

Additionally, timing is important for effective weed control with shallow tillage. It is most effective until the weeds are at their earliest stages of growth or when they have not yet emerged from the soil. 

Tillage later in the season can also help control weeds that have already germinated by burying them under the soil surface.

Kelly Tillage System offers K4 Disc Chain as the best fit for weed control. The disc’s sharp edge pulls the weeds out of the soil, turning them over, so they die on the surface. Farmers who have used this disc have seen a reduction of over 90% in the number of weeds in their fields.


By adopting the practice of shallow tillage, farmers can significantly reduce their expenses. With the help of modern tools, they can accomplish the entire tillage process in a single operation, including cover cropping and weed elimination. 

This will cut down on fuel costs by reducing tractor usage while also decreasing the amount of fertiliser and herbicide needed.

 Although the initial cost of purchasing these tools may be high, the amount of money saved in the long run will be well worth the investment.

Investing in the latest light tillage tool, such as the diamond harrow, is a wise decision that will have a lasting impact on your farming practices. It will help you save money, improve the quality of your soil, and increase your crop yield. 


Overall, shallow tillage is a promising practice that can help farmers reduce fuel and labour costs, maintain soil health, and improve crop yields. It can also help to increase water infiltration and reduce soil erosion.

However, it is important to consider the unique conditions of each farm before deciding whether to implement shallow tillage practices.

Farmers must carefully evaluate their soil and cropping system before adopting reduced tillage and should monitor the soil and crop response over time.

Don’t hesitate to contact Kelly Tillage to purchase advanced tools for minimum tillage. This will help you prepare for any future uncertainties that may arise during your farming practices.