Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 - International Year of Soils
Conservation agriculture practices have
significantly improved soil conditions, reduced land
degradation and boosted yields in many parts of
the world by following three principles: minimal
soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop
rotations. To be sustainable in the long term, the loss
of organic matter in any agricultural system must
never exceed the rate of soil formation. In most
agro-ecosystems, that is not possible if the soil is
mechanically disturbed. Therefore, one of the tenets
of conservation agriculture is limiting the use of
mechanical soil disturbance, or tilling, in the
farming process.
Zero tillage is one of a set of techniques used in
conservation agriculture. Essentially, it maintains a
permanent or semi-permanent organic soil cover
(e.g. a growing crop or dead mulch) that protects the
soil from sun, rain and wind and allows soil microorganisms
and fauna to take on the task of “tilling”
and soil nutrient balancing - natural processes that
are disturbed by mechanical tillage.

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