Tracking the Tango Between Tillage, Soil Health, and Weeds

Tillage is a crucial stage in annual agricultural systems that terminates overwintering vegetation, incorporates plant residues, and prepares the soil for crops. These activities degrade soil health and impact indicators such as soil microbial biomass, organic matter, and aggregate stability. Weed populations are also influenced by tillage as seed and vegetative parts are horizontally and vertically re-distributed within the soil. Tillage implements differ in their impact on soil health indicators and weed seed distribution within the soil profile based on their method of tillage and depth of influence. Much of the tillage research to date has focused on effects from the conversion of intensive to conservation or no-till practices. This project will measure the impacts that the reintroduction of tillage after 10+ years has on weed populations and soil health and investigate the relationships between the two. We will also utilize these research plots located at WSU Mount Vernon as a teaching site for hands-on education for new, beginning, and minority farmers.

Grant Information

  • Project ID: 204
  • Project Status: No-cost extension granted


  • Principal Investigator(s): Benedict, C., Burke, I., Griffin LaHue, D., LaHue, G., Potter, T., Singh, N.
  • Grant Amount: $39,596
  • 2021 Progress Report (PDF)