No tillage

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Les Techniques d'Agriculture de Conservation dans les zones rurales d'Haïti

Ceci n'est pas la version finale de cette fiche technique: le contenu est sous révision et pourrait être modifié. La version finale sera disponible après validation technique vers le 30 août 2017.

L'application des techniques d'agriculture de conservation répond à une nécessité d'apporter des réponses pratiques à la dégradation des sols, la faible fertilité des sols, et à la protection des bassins hydrographiques de la zone considérée. Les objectifs de cette technique sont de conserver, d'améliorer et de faire un usage plus efficient des ressources naturelles à travers la gestion intégrée des sols, de l'eau et d'autres ressources disponibles. Cette fiche technique décrit les trois principes de l'agriculture de de conservation en réponse à l'adaptation à la sécheresse, aux changements climatiques en particulier aux variations de la température et de la pluviométrie. Sa principale caractéristique est la régénération des sols plus rapide de sorte que l'intensification de la production agricole soit économique, écologique et socialement durable. Elle repose sur trois principes de base:

  1. La rotation ou association de cultures
  2. Le zéro labour ou labour minimal
  3. La couverture permanente du sol

Abono en verde/cultivos de cobertura en Agricultura de Conservación en pequeñas granjas en Paraguay

La Agricultura de Conservación (AC) es una estrategia para gestionar agro-ecosistemas para mejorar y mantener la productividad, aumentar los beneficios y la seguridad alimentaria a la vez que se preservan y refuerzan la base de recursos y el medio ambiente. AC se caracteriza por 3 principios relacionados (www.fao.org/ag/ca):

1. Laboreo mínimo del suelo de manera continuada.
2. Cobertura orgánica del suelo permanente.
3. Diversificación de las especies de cultivo por medio de secuencias y/o asociaciones.
La AC es más que no laboreo, es un sistema con una aplicación universal a los ecosistemas agrarios a través de prácticas adaptadas localmente. La AC refuerza la biodiversidad y los procesos biológicos naturales sobre y bajo la superficie del suelo. El laboreo mecánico se reduce a un mínimo absoluto o se evita, y los insumos externos como fitosanitarios, abonos de origen mineral u orgánico se aplican de una manera óptima y de foma y cantidad que requieren un nuevo tipo de técnicas y tecnologías. Ejemplos son la siembra directa en suelos no labrados con cubierta vegetal, la gestión de malas hierbas y de cultivos de cobertura y de residuos vegetales.
La Agricultura de Conservación, comparada con el laboreo tradicional, puede ser más rentable para los agricultores, tiene menor huella ambiental y es útil en la adaptación contra el cambio climático y la reducción de riesgos de catástrofes, como se ha comprobado en varios huracanes y situaciones similares. La resiliencia del agrosistema y del modo de vida de los agricultores se beneficia a largo plazo debido a la mejora de las condiciones del suelo y del potencial para conseguir mejores rendimientos y de la disminución del impacto de los desastres naturales en las condiciones del suelo.

Soil Cultivation and Tillage in Organic Agriculture

Soil cultivation includes all mechanical measures to loosen, turn or mix the soil, such as ploughing, tilling, digging, hoeing, harrowing etc. Careful soil cultivation can improve the soil‘s capacity to retain water, its aeration, capacity of infiltration, warming up, evaporation etc. But soil cultivation can also harm the soil fertility as it accelerates erosion and the decomposition of humus. There is not one right way to cultivate the soil, but a range of options. Depending on the cropping system and the soil type, appropriate soil cultivation patterns must be developed.

No-till technology - A no-till system with crop residue management for mediumscale wheat and barley farming

A special no-till drill was developed to simultaneously seed and fertilize annual crops: the drill cuts through residue, opens a 20 cm wide slot which, after seed and N/P-fertilizers are dropped into it, is closed firmly to encourage contact between seed and soil. Application of special herbicides replaces tillage for weed control, and enables the farmer to have an 18-month fallow period (a ‘chemical fallow’) after two crops have been taken over a 6-month period. Fallowing is essential for water conservation in this semi-arid area. NTT reduces passes with heavy machines to three times per year.
Overall, yields are higher and costs are lower than under conventional tillage. NTT reduces soil erosion and soil compaction while conserving water in
the soil.
The use of the special no-till drill ensures both minimal working of the soils, and precise incorporation of phosphate fertilizer beneath seeds.
Erosion and evaporation suppression/control are the main impacts of the system: runoff and concentrated flow in watersheds are reduced. Maintaining crop residues in the fields increases soil organic matter and thus the amount of carbon sequestered, as well as nutrient levels. Hence application of inorganic fertilizers can be reduced.

Green manure/cover crops and crop rotation in Conservation Agriculture on small farms in Paraguay

Soil degradation on small farms in the Eastern Region of Paraguay is the principal cause of a continuous decrease in crop production. The consequences of this are reduced economic income and increased poverty among rural families. The use of green cover with Conservation Agriculture in this area has been documented in a publication that describes the principal species of green manures and, at the same time, informs in detail how to insert green manures into small farm production systems according to soil fertility and major crops. It also deals with the residual effect of green manures on main crops and analyzes the economic implications of these practices. The main features of the use of green manure/cover, its advantages, considerations and examples of species used in Paraguay are presented in this entry.

Land Preparation: Video from Africa Rice Center

The following video of Africa Rice Center describes how land preparation and water management affect crop establishment, weed management and rice yields. Farmers in Burkina Faso explain also the importance of collaboration and proper planning.