Farmers across the nation used conservation tillage (no-till, ridge-till, and mulch-till) on more than 109 million acres of farmland in 2000, amounting to over 36 percent of U.S. planted cropland area and up from 26 percent in 1990. Use of no-till expanded threefold during the decade to reach more than 52 million acres, due partly to implementation of conservation compliance plans required to remain eligible for farm program benefits. Conservation tillage together with other crop residue management practices helps reduce soil erosion, slow nutrient and pesticide runoff, and cut farmers' fuel costs.