There was nothing obvious that im aware of. That being said if there was compaction issues i was under the impression that switching to no till would eventually take care of itself? The ground is heavy and it is hard now with it being so dry so i am starting to think that it just needs some help to loosen up with a bit of tillage. Ive used a lemken on other fields before seeding and the crops sure seemed to like that...
ďHereĒ ie in this part of Aus w loamy, granite-derived, non-clay (so no shrink/swell) and no freeze/thaw happening on the soils; Iíve seen where people have switched to no-till (disc) system and the challenge has been that theyíre building organic matter etc on the surface, but the deeper compaction and other damage from earlier mgmt practices are still there; and soil structure is taking a long time to change (growing annual crops also = limited window to develop robust root systems and to work through hard pans or for organic matter to build through the profile). This may resolve over time, but whether itís the cost effective way to do it is another question entirely.
Ie Iíve seen one of their neighbouring operators (through the fence) who also switched over, but deep-ripped prior to switching and had an immediate and ongoing increase in productivity. Itís slightly off topic, but thereís plenty of cases in Aus where subsoil acidity is a major constraint on productivity and simply going to no-till alone is unlikely to resolve this issue e.g.
ďA persistent acid layer (the Ďacid throttleí) at 7.5cm to 10cm was not corrected by the lime treatments and is still restricting growth.Ē https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-pu...-acidification
From what you and others that know that part of the world better than me are saying itís unlikely that either of these are what youíre encountering (and I would think it would be showing up on both sides of your paddock).
So, if you bring it back to first principles of plant needs, whatís the tillage supplying or doing better that the no-till isnít?
Is it a better breakdown in plant or chemical residue, better nutrient release from residue, warmer soil earlier/healthier/more rapid growth in an area where lower temps limit growth, better aeration, more friable soil w less resistance to root growth, less water-logging, etc.? And from a business point of view which option (till, no-till) going to net you the most $/Ha