Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Conservation agriculture Related Abstracts

4 Conservation Agriculture Practice in Bangladesh: Farmers’ Socioeconomic Status and Soil Environment Perspective

Authors: Mohammad T. Uddin, Aurup R. Dhar

Abstract:

The study was conducted to assess the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ socioeconomic condition and soil environmental quality in Bangladesh. A total of 450 (i.e., 50 focal, 150 proximal and 250 control) farmers from five districts were selected for this study. Descriptive statistics like sum, averages, percentages, etc. were calculated to evaluate the socioeconomic data. Using Enyedi’s crop productivity index, it was found that the crop productivity of focal, proximal and control farmers was increased by 0.9, 1.2 and 1.3 percent, respectively. The result of DID (Difference-in-difference) analysis indicated that the impact of conservation agriculture practice on farmers’ average annual income was significant. Multidimensional poverty index (MPI) indicates that poverty in terms of deprivation of health, education and living standards was decreased; and a remarkable improvement in farmers’ socioeconomic status was found after adopting conservation agriculture practice. Most of the focal and proximal farmers stated about increased soil environmental condition where majority of control farmers stated about constant environmental condition in this regard. The Probit model reveals that minimum tillage operation, permanent organic soil cover, and application of compost and vermicompost were found significant factors affecting soil environmental quality under conservation agriculture. Input support, motivation, training programmes and extension services are recommended to implement in order to raise the awareness and enrich the knowledge of the farmers on conservation agriculture practice.

Keywords: Conservation agriculture, Socioeconomic Status, crop productivity, soil environment quality

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3 Using Biofunctool® Index to Assess Soil Quality after Eight Years of Conservation Agriculture in New Caledonia

Authors: Remy Kulagowski, Tobias Sturm, Audrey Leopold, Aurelie Metay, Josephine Peigne, Alexis Thoumazeau, Alain Brauman, Bruno Fogliani, Florent Tivet

Abstract:

A major challenge for agriculture is to enhance productivity while limiting the impact on the environment. Conservation agriculture (CA) is one strategy whereby both sustainability and productivity can be achieved by preserving and improving the soil quality. Soils provide and regulate a large number of ecosystem services (ES) such as agricultural productivity and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The aim of this study is to assess the impacts of contrasted CA crop management on soil functions for maize (Zea mays L.) cultivation in an eight years field experiment (2010-2018). The study included two CA practices: direct seeding in dead mulch (DM) and living mulch (LM), and conventional plough-based tillage (CT) practices on a fluvisol in New Caledonia (French Archipelago in the South Pacific). In 2018, soil quality of the cropping systems were evaluated with the Biofunctool® set of indicators, that consists in twelve integrative, in-field, and low-tech indicators assessing the biological, physical and chemical properties of soils. Main soil functions were evaluated including (i) carbon transformation, (ii) structure maintenance, and (iii) nutrient cycling in the ten first soil centimeters. The results showed significant higher score for soil structure maintenance (e.g., aggregate stability, water infiltration) and carbon transformation function (e.g., soil respiration, labile carbon) under CA in DM and LM when compared with CT. Score of carbon transformation index was higher in DM compared with LM. However, no significant effect of cropping systems was observed on nutrient cycling (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus). In conclusion, the aggregated synthetic scores of soil multi-functions evaluated with Biofunctool® demonstrate that CA cropping systems lead to a better soil functioning. Further analysis of the results with agronomic performance of the soil-crop systems would allow to better understand the links between soil functioning and production ES of CA.

Keywords: ecosystem services, Conservation agriculture, Cropping systems, soil functions

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2 Conservation Agriculture under Mediterranean Climate: Effects on below and Above-Ground Processes during Wheat Cultivation

Authors: Vasiliki Kolake, Christos Kavalaris, Sofia Megoudi, Maria Maxouri, Panagiotis A. Karas, Aris Kyparissis, Efi Levizou

Abstract:

Conservation agriculture (CA), is a production system approach that can tackle the challenges of climate change mainly through facilitating carbon storage into the soil and increasing crop resilience. This is extremely important for the vulnerable Mediterranean agroecosystems, which already face adverse environmental conditions. The agronomic practices used in CA, i.e. permanent soil cover and no-tillage, result in reduced soil erosion and increased soil organic matter, preservation of water and improvement of quality and fertility of the soil in the long-term. Thus the functional characteristics and processes of the soil are considerably affected by the implementation of CA. The aim of the present work was to assess the effects of CA on soil nitrification potential and mycorrhizal colonization about the above-ground production in a wheat field. Two adjacent but independent field sites of 1.5ha each were used (Thessaly plain, Central Greece), comprising the no-till and conventional tillage treatments. The no-tillage site was covered by residues of the previous crop (cotton). Potential nitrification and the nitrate and ammonium content of the soil were measured at two different soil depths (3 and 15cm) at 20-days intervals throughout the growth period. Additionally, the leaf area index (LAI) was monitored at the same time-course. The mycorrhizal colonization was measured at the commencement and end of the experiment. At the final harvest, total yield and plant biomass were also recorded. The results indicate that wheat yield was considerably favored by CA practices, exhibiting a 42% increase compared to the conventional tillage treatment. The superior performance of the CA crop was also depicted in the above-ground plant biomass, where a 26% increase was recorded. LAI, which is considered a reliable growth index, did not show statistically significant differences between treatments throughout the growth period. On the contrary, significant differences were recorded in endomycorrhizal colonization one day before the final harvest, with CA plants exhibiting 20% colonization, while the conventional tillage plants hardly reached 1%. The on-going analyses of potential nitrification measurements, as well as nitrate and ammonium determination, will shed light on the effects of CA on key processes in the soil. These results will integrate the assessment of CA impact on certain below and above-ground processes during wheat cultivation under the Mediterranean climate.

Keywords: Wheat, Conservation agriculture, Yield, LAI, mycorrhizal colonization, potential nitrification

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1 Climate-Smart Agriculture for Sustainable Maize-Wheat Production: Effects on Crop Productivity, Profitability and Irrigation Water Use

Authors: SK Kakraliya, PC Sharma, ML Jat, RD Jat, HS Jat

Abstract:

The traditional rice-wheat (RW) system in the IGP of South Asia is tillage, water, energy, and capital intensive. Coupled with more pumping of groundwater over the years to meet the high irrigation water requirement of the RW system has resulted in over-exploitation of groundwater. Replacement of traditional rice with less water crops such as maize under climate-smart agriculture (CSA) based management (tillage, crop establishment and residue management) practices are required to promote sustainable intensification. Furthermore, inefficient nutrient management practices are responsible for low crop yields and nutrient use efficiencies in maize-wheat (MW) system. A 7-year field experiment was conducted in farmer’s participatory strategic research mode at Taraori, Karnal, India to evaluate the effects of tillage and crop establishment (TCE) methods, residue management, mungbean integration, and nutrient management practices on crop yields, water productivity and profitability of MW system. The main plot treatments included four combinations of TCE, residue and mungbean integration [conventional tillage (CT), conventional tillage with mungbean (CT + MB), permanent bed (PB) and permanent bed with MB (PB + MB] with three nutrient management practices [farmer’s fertilizer practice (FFP), recommended dose of fertilizer (RDF) and site-specific nutrient management (SSNM)] using Nutrient Expert® as subplot treatments. System productivity, water use efficiency (WUE) and net returns under PB + MB were significantly increased by 25–30%, 28–31% and 35–40% compared to CT respectively, during seven years of experimentation. The integration of MB in MW system contributed ~25and ~ 28% increases in system productivity and net returns compared with no MB, respectively. SSNM based nutrient management increased the mean (averaged across 7 yrs) system productivity by 12- 15% compared with FFP. The study revealed that CSA based sustainable intensification (PB + MB) and SSNM approach provided opportunities for enhancing crop productivity, WUE and profitability of the MW system in India.

Keywords: Conservation agriculture, crop yields, Precision water and nutrient management, Permanent beds

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