I did not see that Bob's link was a link. I will read it later. I skimmed it, I might print it off. Looks promising.
I am prejudiced against buffalo. Not the animals them selves so much as the smug bastards that raise them. My issue is that they should let their product stand alone, not tell everyone that they are killing the planet by not eating buffalo. Sell it on taste, if you cant do that, well, dont crucify me. Lotta sensationalism in buffalo and organic foods. Not as much science.
I tend to look at university studies with a critical eye. Montana has never had a leading program in agronomy. The Dakotas, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan have always done a better job of trying new things and implementing practices that are good for the land and farmer.
Montana does not do big picture, they look through a soda straw. One thing to remember is that every section of land is different. A really great idea may not work fifty miles away. It is best to be open minded when it comes to practices, but sometimes a new practice does not make sense in a certain area. It is best to not minimalize local knowledge or belittle someone who has been working the land for 50 years, and seen the "expert leaders" come and go. Even seen the "new, responsible" techniques implemented, tested, and abandoned, only to be "discovered" again. We have short memories. RANT over!
Back to your questions. Stripping out land would take large blocks of tilled land and cut them into strips. Alternating strips of tilled land and planted fields. The stubble in the fall or a planted crop in the summer would help hold the soil from blowing away. The edges of fields would also follow the land contours to take advantage of natural barriers to the wind. This practice is loosing favor in organic operations because it is difficult to control weeds in between strips.
Yes, chem fallow is used to kill weeds and conserve moisture when the field is being rested. Yes, it takes a lot of fuel to till the soil. On my farm I rest half of the land every year. \
We sprayed the fields four times this year. That is more than normal, but we had twice the ususal moisture this year. Had I still been cultivating I would have had to work the land eight times.
FWIW, most chemicals affect the hormones of a plant, causing it to grow beyond its ability to transport nutrients.
I interchange the words tilling and cultivating. Tilling or cultivating the soil can be acomplished with a cultivator or a disk. The idea is to work the soil a little as possible but still kill the weeds.
A typical disk will be 20 to 36 feet wide while a cultivator will be 40 to 60 feet wide. I can cost anywhere from 5 to 10 dollars and acre to cultivate. I can cost as little as 3 dollars and as much as 30 dollars to spray.
Plowing the soil is quite different as it turns the soil completely over. It works the soil quite deep. A typical row crop tractor would be able to pull a 24 foot cultivator while only being able to pull a eight foot plow.
Making slits in the soil is a process of aeration. Breaking up compaction and allowing water and nutrients to enter deeper soil profiles. It is used in pasture renovation and in farming as well.
Boy, youse guys really know how to pull my string! I'm like a chatty Cathy!