A study of which refers the American Society of Agronomy reports that the increase of practicing crop rotations, cover crops and no-tillage in tropical areas can reduce the loss of nutrients and then the threat of the fertility reduction in tropical soils that, when farmed, behave differently than the temperate ones.
The authors highlight how tropical farmers need new farming techniques to make agriculture in tropical and sub-tropical zones more productive and sustainable.
The reason of the better sustainability of these techniques is that they allow farmed soil to retain more quantities of organic matter creating a situation similar to that of natural soils, by means of an annual return of crop residues, and maintaining high levels of carbon stocks similarly to what happens in forested areas.
Scientist Bill Hargrove from Kansas State University said, 'These results have broad implications for agricultural production in tropical areas in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We can manage soils in ways that allow profitable crop production while mimicking natural vegetative conditions under which land is not degraded at accelerated rates.'
This new approach to farming practices highlights without any doubt the important role of the agronomist, the international professional figure, that provides everywhere the necessary knowledge to advise farmers ant to train local agricultural people to take advantage of the best agro-techniques available applying, in the field situation, what the researchers have tested in their, frequently long-term, experiments.
Source: American Society of Agronomy
Author: Luca Federico Fianchini, Jul 28, 2008