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Farming for the Long Haul

FARMING FOR THE LONG HAUL INSIGHTS IFPRInfographic MAGAZINE OF THE INTERNATIONAL FOOD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE How conservation agriculture works TREES Agroforestry-planting trees beside and among field crops-can complement conservation agriculture by preventing soil erosion and boosting soil fertility. Trees can also provide fuelwood, fodder, and medicinal products. RETIRE THE PLOW SWITCH CROPS Use a seed drill to insert seeds into the soil without tilling. The disturbed area of Ideally, rotate between three different crops. This helps prevent a buildup of pests and diseases in the soil. soil should be less than 15 centimetersS wide or 25 percent of the cultivated area-whichever is less. KEEP IT COVERED Leave the residues of the preceding crop on the field to act as mulch. Keeping the soil covered-permanently-helps prevent erosion, retain water, and encourage beneficial microorganisms YIELDS FUEL Yield increases may not be immediate, but studies have shown that crop yields can rise by 20–120 percent. Farmers' fuel savings can be significant: they can stop using fuel for plowing and reduce the amount of fuel used to pump water. WEEDS and earthworms. EPUNP Weeds can be a problem, especially when a famer is transitioning a field from tillage to no-tillage farming. Herbicides and herbicide- resistant crops máy be necessary. SEED DRIL LABOR SOIL FERTILIZER Conservation agriculture can cut the cost, time, and drudgery associated with plowing, especially where people 2 till the land by hand or with animals. This is a big advan- tage in areas with scarce labor. Conservation agriculture helps increase soil organic matter-microrganisms, plant O0 residues, and humus-which makes soil less O compacted and better at holding moisture. Conservation agriculture can make more efficient use of fertilizer because the seed drill allows fertilizer to be placed precisely where it's needed. In India's rice-wheat faming areas, fertilizer efficiency has improved by 10–15 percent. WATER Because conservation agriculture helps soil retain moisture, it requires less irrigation water, allowing groundwater to be used for other purposes like drinking. Water savings of 15-50 percent have been reported. Ingraic: AVab and CHalowMFRE Soucee P.R Hobts, Donsavatn Agrtultun: atisit and yis it impatant tor Frlre Sustainabla Fond Pruduction? paper presentad attheirenatitnal richop on Inoreadng heat Yali Potantia, CIMYT Olsgan, Medco, Mach 21-24, 2006; B. Gerat, "Cansavatioe Agricuture Rasaarch at CINMT; presentatin made zi tha BPC nectg, MASC, Nn Du, Nah 27, 2012; B ans, TFutin, A Kassam, and 1 Karda Agtorsty and Consenatn Agritubre Cimplenentary Practicas tor Surtanable Denoprent," papar pasaried attha Mor Cingas of Agrolasty, Nalabi, August 23-29, 213;A Kassan, TFintidh, F Shaan, and 1. Patty "he Spraad ut Conseratan Agricatae Judtaln, Sustainaitg and Uptaka," dauteal ounao Agricalal Satahu y7,.4120CS): 292-321.

Farming for the Long Haul

shared by IFPRI on Oct 22
An in-depth look at how conservation agriculture works. Topics include: seed drills, rotating crops, crop yield increases, weeds, labor, soil, fertilizer, water, agroforestry, and fuel usage.


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