No Till biological farming

Discussion in 'Tillage' started by Louis mc, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

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    There is only a limited supply of organic nutrients though, okay there is widespread excess application of nutrients in some areas and if we could redress that issue it would be huge.
     
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  2. CORK

    CORK Well-Known Member

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    This is it. Even more/better use of municipal sewage could make sense?

    Also, with specialisation of agriculture (because of soil type/climate) the farm manures are largely produced in areas away from the cropping areas.
    It could be argued that the intensive bovine farms need the organic themselves.
     
  3. marco

    marco Well-Known Member

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    Well then the answer is to go back to mixed farming and rotations
     
  4. gone

    gone Well-Known Member

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    Yes agreed, but if only the dep of ag and the EU didn't make it more difficult for mixed farms than factory farms
     
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  5. Ozzy Scott

    Ozzy Scott Well-Known Member

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    Why go back to say corn and beef, when neither are leaving any meaningful return. You would just be working harder for nothing. Are we facing a dead end
     
  6. CORK

    CORK Well-Known Member

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    Life is full of compromises, to think any different will just lead to frustration.

    In an ideal world (for the soil), the land would be left return to nature - eventually returning to deciduous forest.

    But us humans are here and seem to like multiplying in number. Humans need food & can’t eat trees.
    We are being told not to eat meat which means more reliance on crops which need some form of soil cultivation to grow.

    Being pragmatic, we need to grow crops but while caring for the soil as best we can within practical and financial limits.

    We plough, I’m sure it releases more carbon than direct drilling. I don’t plough because I enjoy it or the slow output it entails but because I find it the best way to establish the plant population that I want in cereals.

    I like the fact that we don’t plough for WOSR or beans - it saves time.

    I think the furrow press with the plough lessens the Carbon loss from our soil (because it squeezes out a share of the oxygen that oxidises the Carbon).

    If I put out less N or P, crop output will fall.

    So, it’s not easy to be perfect!

    Towards the end of his career, Norman Borlaug said that we need to control our population increase. I think he was right. I’m not sure if he also meant the behaviour of the population.
     
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  7. Oakley

    Oakley Well-Known Member

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    Big bulky crops with lots of biomass have a significantly lower net loss of carbon per year as the return more carbon to the soil in the roots and stubble
     
  8. Ugo Schtiglitz

    Ugo Schtiglitz Well-Known Member

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    The legacy of Norman Bourlag will be an interesting one for historians to puzzle over...the arch politicization of food supply during the cold war and the adoption of industrial ag to feed an expanding global population that couldn't have expanded without his work.....its a classic example of the law if unintended consequences.
    We're probably starting to look at the hangover of our great leap forward in production ability
     
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