WHERE is the folly? Mr. Faulkner declares it to be with ploughmen who bury green manures, weeds and stubbles many inches below the surface. He is of the opinion that ploughing places such material out of reach of crop roots and creates a subsurface "blotter" which interferes with capillary movement of moisture. He advocates the use of the disk-harrow as a means of incorporating such materials into the soil surface. If land is prepared in this way, and not ploughed, Mr. Faulkner is persuaded that crop yield may increase five- or ten-fold. By disking plenty of green manure into the surface he believes crop yields can be secured against the vagaries of the weather. According to his predictions, such crops will not be seriously affected by drought, nor, on the other hand, will they suffer in wet seasons. Land drainage would be not merely unnecessary, it would be detrimental to such crops. They would also be practically immune from the ravages of insect pests. Furthermore, Mr. Faulkner is confident that by using the disk-harrow in place of the plough, weeds could be much more easily controlled, provided this practice is adopted over the whole of a considerable area.
By Edward H. Faulkner. Pp. v + 162. (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1943.) 2 dollars.
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SCHOFIELD, R. Plowman's Folly. Nature 153, 391 (1944). https://doi.org/10.1038/153391a0