Tillage practices refer to the tillage operations carried out between the harvest and following sowing/cultivation operation. Tillage, crop rotation and soil cover are practices related to pesticide and nutrient runoff, soil erosion, soil compaction etc. The information about tillage practices helps assess other indicators as such on soil cover, risks of nitrate leaching, and organic matter of soils. Any disturbance of soils may enhance turnover of nutrients and thereby increase the potential risk of loss of, for example, nitrogenous compounds and phosphorus through surface runoff and soil erosion. Especially, tillage in the autumn may increase the potential risk of losses during the following winter period.
Data on tillage of arable land were collected in the Survey on agricultural production methods (SAPM) 2010.
The different tillage practices distinguished are:
- Structure of agricultural holdings (ESMS metadata file — ef_esms)
- Survey on agricultural production methods (background article on the organisation and list of characteristics surveyed)
- Agri-environmental indicators (AEI)
- Farm structure survey (FSS)
- Survey on agricultural production methods (SAPM)