Brazilian farmers are at the forefront in the application of Zero Tillage, a cropping method that is greener, boosts productivity, and helps the climate. “Called direct drilling, no-tillage or zero tillage (ZT), the technique is in part praised for fixing carbon in the soil, thereby reducing the amount of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — released into the air. It also prevents soil erosion and therefore demands less irrigation” reports Bernardo Esteves. In general, the practice of zero tillage agriculture conserves soil and water resources by reducing erosion, partitioning water into groundwater instead of runoff, increases the organic content of soil, and helps fix carbon to the soil.

From the original article: "With the best systems you have over a ton of carbon sequestered [in the soil] per hectare per year. When you consider there are a hundred million hectares under ZT in the world, this is an awful lot of carbon dioxide taken out of the atmosphere," says British agronomist John Landers, who has promoted the technology in Brazil since the 1970s.

It is also not only agricultural land and soils that are benefiting from ZT. By introducing ZT to the Cerrado region, there has been a dramatic decrease in deforestation rates, as farmers are less likely to cut down trees to open up new pastures.

For further details on ZT, I recommend reading the entire article, which is posted on SciDevNET (link) and in addition a rather interesting piece from the FAO, focused on ZT application in Asia (link).

1 Comment

  1. Tim Lester on 28th December 2007 at 7:47 am

    In Australia we have to use zero til as there is limited rainfall. More info on my site
    Kind Regards
    Tim Lester

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