Clarksville * Highland * Glenelg * Lisbon

WEST COUNTY --

November 17, 1992

State farmers asked to refrain from fall tilling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service, at 9025 Chevrolet Drive in Ellicott City, recommends that Maryland farmers refrain from fall tilling after harvest as a method to curtail soil erosion.

The service says fall tillage can cause soil compaction and increase labor, fuel and machinery costs.

James Helm, district conservationist, allows for some exceptions but in general discourages fall cultivation.

He said that a cheap way to stall soil erosion -- over costlier conservation methods -- is leaving corn and bean residues in the fields after harvest.

"These crop residues should be left undisturbed until spring planting time," he said. "After planting the next crop, the goal is to leave at least 30 percent of the soil surface covered with residues."

According to the service, 75 percent of Maryland farmers practice residue management in their conservation compliance plans. Management begins at harvest and is effective if crop residues are spread evenly over the field by the combine and then left undisturbed during winter.

Information: 465-3180.

POLICE LOG

* Dayton: 4400 block of Ten Oaks Road: A $25 black mailbox was stolen Sunday.

* Fulton: 12300 block of Scaggsville Road: Someone popped a sliding glass garage window from its frame between Thursday zTC and Saturday and stole tools.

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