New trends in the planting methods reveal higher benefits for soil preservation
Direct planting, or “no tillage”, is a planting and fertilizing method involving the least possible movement of the soil at the moment of seed insertion, which is done through a small opening in the soil, which is then closed. In this way, the soil remains intact from planting until harvesting, leaving the residues from the previous harvest over the soil, which thus become organic fertilizers for the soil. This method not only allows preserving the soil structure, but also offers the following benefits:
• Prevent the erosion and wash of the soil generated by the rain and wind, that normally lead to the loss of valuable organic mass – mulch – which, in this way is being increased
• Less evaporation caused by the soil labour, with the consequence of saving water, allowing for early planting, higher productivity per ha., especially in places where the water is scarce
• Less nitrogen lixiviation
• Better porosity of the soil, leading to better water infiltration
• Higher amount of micro organisms, crucial for maintaining the biological balance of the soil
• Less fuel costs and labour – man & machine hours
Of course, this method does not only show advantages, but also some shortcomings, such as: difficult control of weeds, lower percentage of soil mineralization and lower soil temperature.
But if we want to consider our valuable resource, the soil, we have to think in the future. And that means doing our best to maintain the soil productivity over the years, instead of depleting it of all its resources.
One option is to adopt an intermediate solution, such as more advanced countries have done, combining no tillage with the old method of conventional planting. Leveraging the advantages of both methods helps maintain the soil productivity and preserve this valuable resource.
Our duty as agro producers is to leave to the future generations a soil to plant. Maybe it is about time to make a change!
Martín Facundo Reto
+40-(0)73 555 7403
Martin is an agronomist engineer, with experience in advanced agriculture countries, such as Argentina’s, one of leading agricultures worldwide. He offers farm consultancy and management in Romania and abroad.