Re: [fukuoka_farming] Zero-Tillage Agriculture
Zero tillage is a concept born of commercial farming as apposed to the
Fukuoka concept of no tilling. Zero tillage allows the commercial farmer
to put more land into production with less labor. In America, zero
tillage is used along with extensive herbicides (offsetting weed control
by tillage) to allow one man/company to financially gain by removing the
input costs of farming. While this has the advantage of some soil
erosion control, it ignores the impact of herbicide weed control,
tractor compaction, and problems due to monoculture techniques, and the
irresistible temptation to use gene modified crops to make the
herbicides more effective. If I were a commercial farmer I would
certainly investigate this option because of the benefits of zero
tillage, but I would also look at the other commitments involved.
Not tilling as proposed by Fukuoka is a micro farm concept in
conjunction with no herbicides, pesticides, etc. Important in this
regard is removing the tractor from the equation. This is only possible
by making every man (one in ten?) a farmer of a small plot. In our world
of 6.5 billion people this is the only plan that will survive the coming
meltdown of society due to global warming and energy dependence. While
half measures are useful in the short run, it is not feasible for long
term sustainable agriculture. As we are currently turning the earth into
a dry hot dust bowl it will be the responsibility of everyone to find an
ecology of nature that has not been too badly degraded by current
practices and begin integrating natural farming methods with as little
impact on the life sustaining and carbon absorbing properties of that
ecosystem. While I applaud any change for the better in commercial
farming, I think it is important to realize the status quo is only good
for a decade or two more.
rajutitus lal wrote:
> Zero tillage method will be helpful to farmers: expert
> Sirsa, Sept. 26 (UNI): To control the falling yield of wheat, the
> Central Government has prepared a Rs 2,400 crore scheme involving
> supply of quality seeds and imparting the latest technology methods to
> the farmers.
> This scheme which will be implemented in nine wheat growing states of
> the country would be centred on supplying quality seeds to the farmers
> and introducing the zero tillage method on a large scale.
> The scheme will be launched from the Rabi season starting November. In
> the first phase the scheme will be implemented in the selective
> districts of the nine states.
> Under the scheme the government will provide aid on the new technique
> called ‘zero tillage’.
> Haryana's well known agriculture scientist, Dr Dalip Mongia said here
> today that the ‘zero tillage’ machine will be extremely useful in
> sowing wheat crop. Farmers will be able to sow the wheat crop in
> lesser time and at lesser expense with this machine, he added.
> He added that the farmers would be able to sow the wheat crop soon
> after harvesting the kharif crop and would save diesel and irrigation
> water by using the 'zero tillage' machine. By using this machine the
> farmer need not irrigate the field which has been cleared of paddy,
> before plouging it, he explained.
> The zero tillage machine will remove the paddy stubs from the fields
> and the time needed for preparing the field for the wheat crop will be
> reduced, Dr Mongia added.
> Since the machine saves both power and fuel this technique will help
> farmers execute timely sowing over a large area.
> The Central Government has made a provision in this scheme to give
> financial aid to the farmers on purchase of this machine which costs
> about Rs 12,000.