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Benefits of Conservation Agriculture to farmers and society

Code: 9781786765956
Patrick Wall, Independent Consultant – Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Mexico; Christian Thierfelder, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Zimbabwe; Peter Hobbs, Cornell University, USA; Jon Hellin, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), The Philippines; and Bram Govaerts, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico

Chapter synopsis: Conservation Agriculture (CA) describes farming systems where the soil is not tilled, crop residues remain on the soil surface, and crop rotation is practised. CA emulates as closely as possible natural vegetation systems. This chapter presents the benefits of CA to farmers and society. The first section outlines the benefits to farmers from the adoption of CA which include fuel, labour and time savings, reduced soil erosion, improved crop water relations, increased machinery efficiency, increasing soil organic matter levels and fertility, increased levels of soil biological activity, and, allied with these benefits, increasing crop yields over time. The next section covers difficulties experienced with adoption of CA which include weed control, competition for crop residues, managerial capacity, poorly drained soils and crop diseases. The authors go on to discuss the benefits to society resulting from CA adoption on the farm and landscape. The chapter concludes with a section on what can be done to help farmers considering CA.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2019.0049.11
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Farm benefits of Conservation Agriculture 3 Difficulties with Conservation Agriculture 4 Conservation Agriculture adoption 5 Benefits of Conservation Agriculture to society 6 The way ahead: support for Conservation Agriculture 7 Where to look for further information 8 References

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