What is conservation in agriculture

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Conservation agriculture was developed in Brazil and Argentina in the 1970s, and adheres to three core principles:

  • Minimize soil disturbance: absent tilling, farmers seed directly into the soil.
  • Maintain soil cover: farmers leave crop residues after harvesting or grow cover crops.
  • Manage crop rotation: farmers change what is grown and where.

Full
Answer

How to practice conservation agriculture?

What are the main principles of Conservation agriculture?

  • Minimal soil disturbance,
  • Maintaining soil cover, and
  • Improved crop rotations

What are the environmental impacts of Agriculture?

Agriculture can have significant impacts on the environment. While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices.

What are disadvantages of Agriculture?

What are the pros and cons of Agriculture?

  • Lesser Costs, Higher Gains. …
  • More Job Opportunities. …
  • Increase of Food Production. …
  • Lower Costs of Produce. …
  • Presence of Pesticides. …
  • Health and Environmental Hazards. …
  • Disadvantageous to Small Farmers.

What is control environment agriculture?

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What does conservation mean in agriculture?

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a farming system that can prevent losses of arable land while regenerating degraded lands. It promotes maintenance of a permanent soil cover, minimum soil disturbance, and diversification of plant species.


Why is conservation of agriculture important?

Conservation Agriculture is 20 to 50% less labour intensive and thus contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through lower energy inputs and improved nutrient use efficiency. At the same time, it stabilizes and protects soil from breaking down and releasing carbon to the atmosphere.


What is conservation cropping?

The Conservation Cropping Protocol is an updated version of the now expired Tillage System Management Protocol. The Conservation Cropping Protocol provides opportunities for farmers to earn carbon offsets by: increasing soil carbon levels through no-till management. reducing greenhouse gas emissions from lower fuel use.


What is conservation agriculture PPT?

1: Adoption of zero tillage in India. 9. The principles of conservation agriculture with the most important functions are: 1. Minimum mechanical soil disturbance 2. Permanent organic soil cover  Erosion control  Soil C build up  Erosion control  Biodiversity and environment 3.


What are benefits of conservation?

Benefits of Land ConservationReducing air and water pollution.Preserving open and green spaces.Preserving fish and wildlife habitats, endangered species, and biodiversity.Managing and protecting watersheds and wetlands.Maintaining scenic landscapes and recreational amenities.More items…


What are examples of conservation agriculture?

Here are some examples:Hoe farming. Many African farmers cultivate by hand, using hoes. … Small holder farming with draught animals. Farmers who own (or can hire) oxen or donkeys to pull implements can use a different set of conservation agriculture practices.


What is conservation agriculture PDF?

Conservation agriculture (CA) is characterized by minimal soil disturbance, diversified crop rotations, and surface crop residue retention to reduce soil and environmental degradation while sustaining crop production.


What is conservation agriculture Wikipedia?

Page Content. Conservation agriculture (CA) aims to achieve sustainable and profitable agriculture through the application of the three CA principles: continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance; permanent organic soil cover; and.


How is conservation agriculture done?

Conservation agriculture is based upon three principles: minimum tillage and soil disturbance, permanent soil cover with crop residues and live mulches, and intercropping. Minimum tillage minimizes soil organic matter losses and leads to increase soil carbon and nitrogen stocks.


What is conservation agriculture in India?

Conservation agriculture is a management system that maintains a soil cover through surface retention of crop residues with no till/zero and reduced tillage.


What are the aims of conservation farming?

Conservation Agriculture is not about one specific technology; instead, it is based on a systems approach to farming which helps to conserve, improve and render more efficient use of natural resources through integrated management of available soil, water and biological resources.


What is soil conservation?

Soil conservation is a “combination” of practices used to protect the soil from degradation. First and foremost, soil conservation involves treating the soil as a living ecosystem, and recognizing that all the organisms that make the soil their home, play important roles in producing a fertile healthy environment.


How does conservation agriculture help the environment?

Conservation agriculture conserves natural resources, biodiversity and labor. It increases available soil water, reduces heat and drought stress, and builds up soil health in the longer term.


When was conservation agriculture invented?

The term “conservation agriculture” was coined in the 1990s, but the idea to minimize soil disturbance has its origins in the 1930s, during the Dust Bowl in the United States of America.


What do farmers use to remove weeds?

Organic farmers apply tillage to remove weeds without using inorganic fertilizers. Conservation agriculture farmers, on the other hand, use a permanent soil cover and plant seeds through this layer. They may initially use inorganic fertilizers to manage weeds, especially in soils with low fertility.


What is the difference between organic farming and conservation farming?

However, the main difference between these two types of farming is that organic farmers use a plow or soil tillage, while farmers who practice conservation agriculture use natural principles and do not till the soil. Organic farmers apply tillage to remove weeds without using inorganic fertilizers.


What is sustainable intensification?

Sustainable intensification is a process to increase agriculture yields without adverse impacts on the environment, taking the whole ecosystem into consideration. It aims for the same goals as conservation agriculture. Conservation agriculture practices lead to or enable sustainable intensification.


What is zero tillage?

Zero tillage is combined with intercropping and crop rotation, which means either growing two or more crops at the same time on the same piece of land, or growing two different crops on the same land in a sequential manner . These are also core principles of sustainable intensification.


How can sustainable farming improve resilience?

However, sustainable farming methods can do the opposite — increase resilience to climate change, protect biodiversity and sustainably use natural resources . One of these methods is conservation agriculture. Conservation agriculture conserves natural resources, biodiversity and labor.


What is conservation agriculture?

Conservation agriculture (CA) can be defined by a statement given by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as “A farming system that promotes minimum soil disturbance (i.e. No-till farming ), maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances Biodiversity and natural biological processes …


How does CA work in conservation?

CA is based upon establishing an organic layer and producing its own fertilizer and this may take time. It can be many years before a producer will start to see better yields than he/she has had previously. Another financial undertaking is purchasing of new equipment. When starting to use CA, a producer may have to buy new planters or drills in order to produce effectively. These financial tasks are ones that may impact whether or not a producer decides to switch to CA or not.


Why is mulch important in agriculture?

According to the article “The role of conservation agriculture and sustainable agriculture”, the layer of mulch that is built up over time will become like a buffer zone between soil and mulch and this will help reduce wind and water erosion. With this comes the protection of the soil’s surface when rain falls on the ground. Land that is not protected by a layer of mulch is left open to the elements (Hobbs et al. 2007). This type of ground cover also helps keep the temperature and moisture levels of the soil at a higher level rather than if it was tilled every year (FAO 2007).


What is land sparing?

Land sparing is another way that producer and conservationist can be on the same page. Land sparing advocates for the land that is being used for agricultural purposes to continue to produce crops at increased yield. With an increase in yield on all land that is in use, other land can be set aside for conservation and production for biodiversity. Agricultural land stays in production but would have to increase its yield potential to keep up with demand. Land that is not being put into agriculture would be used for conserving biodiversity (Green, et al. 2005). In fact, data from the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that between 1961 and 2012, the amount of arable land needed to produce the same amount of food declined by 68 percent worldwide.


Why is CA better than conventional agriculture?

On the side of the producer and/or farmer, CA can eventually do all that is done in conventional agriculture, and it can conserve better than conventional agriculture. CA according to Theodor Friedrich, who is a specialist in CA, believes “Farmers like it because it gives them a means of conserving, improving, and making more efficient use of their natural resources” (FAO 2006). Producers will find that the benefits of CA will come later rather than sooner. Since CA takes time to build up enough organic matter and have soils become their own fertilizer, the process does not start to work overnight. But if producers make it through the first few years of production, results will start to become more satisfactory.


What is no till farming?

These practices are well known by most producers. The process of no-till is one that follows the first principle of CA, causing minimal mechanical soil disturbance.


Why is CA important to the environment?

With conservation come environmental benefits of CA. These benefits include less erosion possibilities, better water conservation, improvement in air quality due to lower emissions being produced, and a chance for larger biodiversity in a given area.


What is conservation agriculture?

Conservation Agriculture (CA) is a sustainable approach to agricultural production which aims to protect soil from erosion and degradation, improve its quality and biodiversity, contribute to the preservation of natural resources, water and air, whilst optimising yields.


What are the economic benefits of the approach?

Economic benefits of the approach include labour and fuel saving in perennial crops, cost-savings in annual crops, increase of yields, reduction of run-off and erosion which contribute to increased agricultural production costs.


Where did conservation agriculture originate?

Conservation agriculture was developed in Brazil and Argentina in the 1970s, and adheres to three core principles: Minimize soil disturbance: absent tilling, farmers seed directly into the soil. Maintain soil cover: farmers leave crop residues after harvesting or grow cover crops.


How many hectares of land will be in conservation agriculture by 2035?

Based on historic growth on large farming operations, our analysis projects the total area under conservation agriculture will continue growing from 148 million hectares to peak at 400-327 million hectares by 2035.


What does “conserve” mean in Latin?

The Latin root of conserve means “to keep together. ”. Conservation agriculture abides by these principles to keep the soil together as a living ecosystem that enables food production and helps redress climate change.


What is conservation agriculture?

Conservation agriculture is a pathway towards agro-ecosystems for achieving enhanced and sustained productivity management, increased profits, and food security while conserving and improving the natural resource base along with the environment . It is practiced in many parts of the world as they are formed on ecological principles which make the land use sustainable. It relies on the practical application of three linked principles, along with other relevant good agricultural practices (GAPs) of crop production, and must be taken care of for suitable design, planning, and implementation processes.


How does conservation agriculture help the environment?

Conservation agriculture promotes minimum soil disturbance, plant species diversification, maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and improves crop yields. It conserves natural resources, biodiversity, and labor. It reduces heat stress, increases available soil water, and builds up soil health. It promotes minimum soil disturbance that is No-till farming. It contributes to increased water and nutrient use efficiency, improves natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, and improved crop production. It is a set of soil management practices that the disruption of the soil’s structure minimizes, composition and natural biodiversity. Conservation agriculture has proven the potential to improve crop yields by adopting several practices.


What is a system minimizing soil mechanical disturbance and crop diversification?

It is a system minimizing soil mechanical disturbance and crop diversification is a sustainable agro ecological method to resource-conserving agricultural production.


How does tillage help soil?

The main function of minimum tillage is to minimize soil organic matter losses and increase soil carbon and nitrogen stocks. One percent increase in organic matter can capture about 10 times more tons of carbon dioxide. In this way, the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is reduced. Also, to maintain a healthy soil system, there shouldn’t be any bare soil left. Permanently covered soil leads to many benefits like maintaining water capacity in soil which stops drying of soil, manages nutrients, and increases yields. It gives us the opportunity how to use natural resources more efficiently with minimal impact on the environment.


What is tillage system?

The tillage system is reduced to ripping planting lines or making planting holes with a hoe. It is through direct seed and/or fertilizer placement.


How do conservation and organic farming work?

The main difference between conservation agriculture and organic agriculture is that organic farmers use a plow or soil tillage, while farmers who practice conservation agriculture sector use natural principles and do not till the soil. Without using inorganic fertilizers organic farmers apply tillage to remove weeds.


Why is diversification important in crop rotation?

Diversified crop rotations – Diversified crop rotation is required for providing food to the soil microorganisms along with nutrients utilization by the crops in rotation which are present in different soil layers due to leaching. It can be attained by rotating deep-rooted crops with shallow-rooted crops. The crop rotations which mainly involve legumes are beneficial for biological nitrogen fixation, reducing pest infestation by disruption of the pests’ life cycle and also improving biodiversity.


How can conservation agriculture be sustainable?

Conservation agriculture has three basic principles: Disturb the soil as little as possible Keep the soil covered as much as possible Mix and rotate crops. We will look at each of these in turn. Disturb the soil as little as possible.


How does conservation agriculture help soil fertility?

In conservation agriculture, this is minimized by planting the right mix of crops in the same field, and rotating crops from season to season. This also helps to maintain soil fertility.


Why is crop production declining in Africa?

Unlike the rest of the developing world, crop production in Africa is not keeping pace with population growth. Yields in many areas are actually falling. A major cause of this is declining soil fertility, often caused by the way of farming. The rising population has forced farmers to aban- don traditional practices that left the land fallow for sev- eral years, and to cultivate ever-smaller plots. Intensive tilling and hoeing year after year can produce a hardpan in the soil. That restricts root growth and stunts plants. Rainwater pounds the bare soil, forming a surface crust that the water cannot penetrate. It runs off, taking the valuable topsoil with it. Erosion in some places is so severe that there is little soil left. To get a good yield, farmers often apply more and more fertilizer. With less moisture in the soil, plants are more vulnerable to drought. They start to wilt after a few days without rain. Conservation agriculture enables farmers to reverse this trend. It prevents hard- pans from forming, protects the soil, increases soil moisture, and restores soil fertility, so stabilizing yields and improving production over the long term.


What is the purpose of mulch in conservation agriculture?

In conservation agriculture, crop residues left on the field, mulch and special cover crops protect the soil from erosion and limit weed growth throughout the year. Mix and rotate crops. In conventional farming, the same crop is sometimes planted each season.


Why do farmers plough and hoe?

In conventional farming, farmers plough and hoe to improve the soil structure and control weeds. But in the long term, they actually destroy the soil structure and con- tribute to declining soil fertility. In conservation agriculture, tillage is re- duced to ripping planting lines or making holes for planting with a hoe. The ideal is to plant direct into the soil, without plough- ing.


What is mix and rotate agriculture?

mix and rotate crops. ) can be applied in a wide range of conditions. How farmers put them into practice will vary from place to place, depending on many factors. Conservation agriculture can be practised on different types of farms, with different combinations of crops and sources of power.


Why do farmers use more and more fertilizer?

To get a good yield, farmers often apply more and more fertilizer. With less moisture in the soil, plants are more vulnerable to drought. They start to wilt after a few days without rain. Conservation agriculture enables farmers to reverse this trend.


What is the essence of conservation agriculture?

Planting a crop in the residues of the previous crop, which is the essence of conservation agriculture, is fast becoming a successful and sustainable cropping practice, especially in the subhumid tropics. Implicit in this practice is the absence or limitation of tillage practices that incorporate surface residues or disrupts soil porosity.


How does conservation agriculture help the environment?

The widely acclaimed success of conservation agriculture is mainly attributed to improved surface porosity (Plate 68) that results in increased infiltration and reduced runoff, and a greater water availability to crops. As additional benefits, conservation agriculture also lessens evaporation losses, reduces erosion, enhances earthworm activity and soil structure, improves soil fertility and lowers labour, machinery and fuel costs. With time, yields increase substantially provided crop rotations are well designed and include leguminous crops or cover crops. When compared with only applying a soil cover (mulches, crop or cover crop residues) in a conventional system, no additional time is required for land preparation in CA (apart from herbicide application in some cases), which allows earlier sowing and all the advantages that this confers. Consequently returns to labour are substantially increased.


What is zero tillage?

Residue- based zero tillage is implemented gradually on structurally damaged soils. At the start, tillage with tined equipment (scarification) can be used to break up the underlying pan and let more rainwater back into the soil, while leaving some of the plant remains on the surface (Plate 71). In this way the soil is opened up and the previous crop’s residues are incorporated. It may necessary to start renovating the soil by enabling more rainfall to become soil moisture, but too frequent scarification can also damage soil architecture because of the shattering effect on soil structural units.


How does conservation agriculture affect soil erosion?

This effect is attributed to the increased soil porosity beneath residues due to biological activity. Note the saving of 441 mm water by reduction of runoff in southern Brazil and 186 mm in central Brazil (Table 19).


Why is the yield of a crop higher when sown directly into the residues of a previous crop?

This is attributed to the benefits of little soil disturbance: the soil structure created by the root channels from the previous crops as well as by the biological activity of earthworms and other soil fauna facilitate deeper rooting and enhance the infiltration and percolation of rainwater.


What is the effect of legumes on cropping?

On the other hand, legumes used as a cover crop can provide a weed-smothering cover, protection from raindrop impact, and important additions to organic matter (Plate 67). Harvesting procedures can drastically affect the quantity of residues remaining in the field.


How does zero tillage affect farmers?

Farmers have responded to the economic benefits of zero tillage. Yield increases of 20 percent or more, coupled with reduction of production costs by a similar percentage, have had positive effects on farm income. Savings of time and labour have contributed to improvements in farm families’ livelihoods.

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Overview

Conservation agriculture (CA) can be defined by a statement given by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as “A farming system that promotes minimum soil disturbance (i.e. no-till farming), maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surf…


Key principles

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has determined that conservation agriculture (CA) has three key principles that producers (farmers) can proceed through in the process of CA. These three principles outline what conservationists and producers believe can be done to conserve what we use for a longer period of time.
The first key principle in CA is practicing minimum soil disturbance which is essential to maintai…


Examples

In conservation agriculture there are many examples that can be looked towards as a way of farming and at the same time conserving. These practices are well known by most producers. The process of no-till is one that follows the first principle of CA, causing minimal mechanical soil disturbance. No-till also brings other benefits to the producer. According to the FAO, tillage is one of the mos…


Benefits

In the field of CA there are many benefits that both the producer and conservationist can obtain.
On the side of the conservationist, CA can be seen as beneficial because there is an effort to conserve what people use every day. Since agriculture is one of the most destructive forces against biodiversity, CA can change the way humans produce food and energy. With conservation come environmental benefits of CA. These benefits include less erosion possibilities, better wat…


Future development

As in any other business, producers and conservationists are always looking towards the future. In this case CA is a very important process to be looked at for future generation. There are many organizations that have been created to help educate and inform producers and conservationists in the world of CA. These organizations can help to inform, conduct research, and buy land in order to preserve animals and plants (New Standard 1992).


Problems

As much as conservation agriculture can benefit the world, there are some problems that come with it. There are many reasons why conservation agriculture cannot always be a win-win situation. Examples of these disadvantages include high initial costs of specialized planting equipment, and a new dynamic farming system that requires new management skills and a learning process by the farmer. Long term experience with conservation farming all over the wor…


See also

• Agroecology
• Biodiversity
• Sustainable agriculture
• No-till farming


Further reading

• Agri-environmental indicator- commitments, 2015. [26 November 2015]
• Batáry, P. et al., 2015. The role of agri-environment schemes in conservation and environmental management. Conservation Biology, 29(4), pp. 1006–1016.
• Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2006. Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department. Rome, Italy Available from http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/0110sp.htm (Accessed November 2007).

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