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Conservation Agriculture in Australian dryland cropping and in New Zealand: the lessons of 70 years

Code: 9781801464017
Jean-Francois Rochecouste, Grains Research Development Corporation, Australia; John Baker, Cross Slot IP Ltd, New Zealand; and Bill Crabtree, Farmer and Author, Australia

Chapter synopsis: Australia and New Zealand have seen a rapid adoption rate in Conservation Agriculture in the areas of no-till and stubble retention. The two countries have different stories, and this will be highlighted in this chapter. For Australia crop diversification has not changed substantially, and the balance required between diversification and the variable return of different crops is still a major challenge for farmers, with wheat remaining over half of the national crop. The main changes in tillage practices involved the adoption of narrow tine and disc planters to minimise soil disturbance along with stubble retention, crop rotation and controlled traffic farming have followed suit. Current trends involve an increasing use of GPS technology combined with remote and proximal sensors to more efficiently deliver resources such as fertiliser and chemicals. Precision technology is also being used to reposition the planting row to the inter-row between the standing stubble. Herbicide resistance is becoming an increasing problem. Emerging issues include nutrient stratification, sub-surface acidification and an increase in diseases from stubble retention.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2021.0088.15
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Dealing with the negative consequences of no-till systems 3 Challenges from stubble retention 4 Cropping diversity and cover cropping 5 Compaction, controlled traffic farming and precision agriculture 6 Evolving concepts in Conservation Agriculture: recycled organics and carbon sequestration 7 The New Zealand Conservation Agriculture story 8 Acknowledgement 9 Where to look for further information 10 References

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