Notwithstanding the fact that the history of agriculture invariably centres on ploughing the soil–symbolically and in a very real sense–, a number of stakeholders are pushing for less or no tilling, as an interesting lever to improve farming system performance. Tilling less, or not at all, is one of the prominent features in “conservation agriculture” systems, but this generic term encompasses a variety of practices. What do they entail in terms of cropping system operations? How are these practices actually impacting economic, social and environmental performances? And what are the chances of mainstreaming these systems in France?
The notes published in the CEP Analyses series are 4 to 8 pages evaluative or prospective briefs aimed at the general public. Based on research reports, studies, expert opinions or data analysis and statistics, they propose an overview of a topical issue and favor comparative approaches.