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Conventional agriculture has largely been characterized by tillage, which leaves soil vulnerable to erosion. Continuous use of conventional farming practices with conventional tillage and burning crop residues has degraded the soil resource base and intensified soil degradation, with concomitant decreases in crop production ca-pacity. Soil loss is expected to be a critical issue for global agricultural production under conventional farming practices. For instance, global erosion rates from con-ventionally ploughed agricultural fields averaged one to two orders of magnitude greater than erosion under native vegetation, long-term geological erosion and rates of soil production. Likewise, conventional tillage has also made agriculture a major contributor to global warming due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Soil and vegetation on the earth’s land surface store three times as much carbon as is present in the earth’s atmosphere. Land clearing and degradation turn this valuable carbon sink into a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Conservation agriculture is widely recognized as a viable approach to creating a sustainable agriculture. It is a resource-saving agricultural production system that aims to achieve production intensification and high yields while enhancing the natural resource base through compliance with four interrelated principles viz. minimal soil disturbance, permanent residue cover, planned crop rotations and in-tegrated weed management, along with other good production practices of plant nutrition and pest management.
Conservation agriculture is environment friendly and requires less fuel, result-ing in lower emissions of carbon dioxide—one of the gases responsible for global warming. In addition, conservation agriculture is very effective in reducing soil erosion. A wide range of other environmental benefits accrue in conservation agri-culture, including reduced run-off, improved nutrient cycling, reduced soil degrada-tion, reduced soil and water pollution and enhanced activities of soil biota.
Although several papers and conference proceedings are available on the sub-ject, a comprehensive textbook on conservation agriculture was lacking. This book is a timely effort to fill the gap. The book describes various elements of conserva-tion agriculture, highlights the associated breeding and modeling efforts, analyses the experiences and challenges in conservation agriculture in different regions and proposes some pragmatic options and new areas of research in this very important area of agriculture.
29.05.2019, 13:10Категория: Книги | |
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