Technologies of modern agriculture are developing inseveral directions, among which the approaches to methods of soil cultivation are of no small importance. Manufacturers of agricultural equipment produce more and more sophisticated technical means of cultivation, and the chemical industry forms whole segments with fertilizers. However, complex methods of maintaining and cultivating farmland in our day are competing with the opposite way, simplifying the concept of land use. This is a zero till system, which is known as No-till technology. Depending on the conditions of implementation and application, it may completely exclude traditional plowing. This method is known for a long time and developed throughout the last century, and today interest in it increases again for a number of reasons.
Classical agriculture is mandatoryinvolves the use of machining technology. This is a whole group of tools and methods that allows you to optimize the characteristics of the land cover, properly managing its structure. Ultimately, such operations create a seedbed with a loose, uniform soil layer that is suitable for the application of standard seeders. The most common measure of this kind is plowing of the land, thanks to which the soil also gets rid of weeds.
In turn, the No-till system excludessuch operations and, accordingly, all the negative factors that accompany them. First of all, mechanical processing requires a lot of physical effort, time and money, which are spent on the maintenance and operation of special equipment. It can not be said that the know-how technology completely dispenses with technical means, but their function is not so significant. In addition, traditional methods of cultivation provoke erosion processes. This is one of the key moments that determines the desire of many farmers to switch to alternative systems. The refusal of plowing allows preserving the soil structure without violating the moisture balance - thus eliminating the risk of weathering of the fertile layer. But there is a downside, which is to compact the soil. Without cultivation, such phenomena are possible in a natural order, which is unsuitable for the development of the future crop.
Preparatory activities for implementationThis technology is carried out in the form of mulching. But for the very transition to this method, you should perform the initial training once. The fact is that the land for the zero system must meet certain requirements, the most important of which is a flat surface. Of course, in the case of agricultural lands, you can only talk about this parameter conditionally. The area should not have sharp differences of heights, so that a special planter can cope with its task. The fact is that the sowing process is carried out evenly, while the technique covers the extensive strips of the earth. As a result, unevenness on one side of the processing tool may violate the parameters of the knife immersion, accordingly, the seeds will be planted with deviations from the norm.
Perhaps this is the only part of the implementationzero system in which it is necessary to use traditional cultivators and related equipment. Again, the following years, the know-how technology does not require additional leveling, but only if crop rotation is properly organized. At the same stage of preparation, it is necessary to carry out soil-restoring measures that will not be possible in the future. Usually deep cultivation is intermixed with procedures for introducing elements that regulate the agrotechnical properties of the land. Next, one should move on to one of the main stages of technology - mulching.
Of course, this procedure is not a stage,exclusively owned by the No-till method, but this system has its own implementation features. After the harvest, the stubble is left on the working area - it will perform the function of mulch, helping to retain additional moisture. This scheme will minimize the expenditure of physical forces, fuel on the technique in the process of performing the planting. That is, in comparison with conventional farming, the zero method involves mulching straw, which is not removed from the field, but remains. However, even here there are different approaches. Some farmers recommend to leave it directly in its entirety, which saves both time and, again, the efforts of the farmer. An alternative point of view involves the harvesting of straw, but with its subsequent crushing and laying in its original place.
A protective coating is formed on the surfacesoil from the same erosion, both water and wind. In general, the spectrum of functions in mulch is very diverse in this case. This coating prevents the growth of weeds, does not allow moisture to escape, and also promotes the activation of soil microflora and serves as a basis for reproduction of fertile soil layers, which increases yield. In this case, it is not necessary to be limited to straw and biomass, which remains on the field after harvesting the harvest. Other materials are quite suitable. For example, successfully used mulch pine, the remains of corn, all kinds of husks with bark and sawdust, as well as other environmentally friendly, but effective in terms of shelter waste management activities. The need for a quality mulch is due to the need to compensate for the protective properties that the earth loses because of the minimization of processing activities.
Change in approaches to preparing land for sowing andin general, the cultivation technique could not but affect the nutrient base of the soil layer. Reducing the intensity of processing and maintaining the stubble residue of biomass from the grown culture helps to reduce the differences in the intrasoil temperature. In turn, the microclimate on the surface of the soil is not so favorable for the production of plant residues than the lower layers. As a result, the remains of biomass are more slowly decomposed, and the process of formation of nutrients is also slowly proceeding. First of all, this refers to nitrogen-containing elements, the formation of which depends on external conditions. In this case, the lack of stimulation of soil microorganisms, which in traditional systems provides land plowing, leads to an increase in the mineralization of nitrogen and carbon. Accordingly, there is a need for additional supply of land with useful elements.
The refusal to cultivate primarily deprivesland cover due protection. If the internal structure maintains optimum quality for the development of crops, then the outer layers need the use of herbicides. In order to increase the yield, the addition of nitrogen fertilizers is also practiced. But it is important to consider that the superficial application of such components should be carried out in large volumes in order to compensate for possible losses. Again, it should be recalled that zero technology, even at the stage of primary processing, allows deep introduction of fertilizers during cultivation. In this case, the doses may correspond to traditional norms, since the risk of volatilization of nitrogen is excluded. In the future, similar problems with the weathering of fertilizers on the surface can be ruled out using a shallow technique for cultivation. Actually, the main factor in the quality of the introduction of nutrients is not even the way of introducing, but the balance of substances. Specialized fertilizing is currently being developed for the land with direct sowing.
Since technology excludes the execution of plowing,it is also called the direct seeding method. This means that the landing is carried out directly on the remnants of the previous plants, mothballed on the field. But, in order to obtain the expected effect of the crop rotation, it is necessary to initially calculate its density. This parameter is determined by a variety of factors, under the influence of which crop cultivation will occur through the zero system. In particular, among them are the climatic conditions, the type of soil, the area of the site, etc. Having achieved the optimum density of seed distribution, one can count on fast shoots of future plants.
In professional farms, the density of seedlingsis calculated by the number of seedlings per unit area, taking into account the maximum use of water resources, light and proper selection of nutrients. Much in the choice of the scheme and the overall configuration of the landing depends on the type of equipment used. In contrast to the usual ways of cultivating the land, the know-how technology involves the use of special tools designed specifically for direct sowing. Specificity of such equipment is due to several factors, among which is the surface treatment principle itself.
Usually the sowing process is realized with the help ofturbo-knife, which provides micro-plowing with a qualitative cutting of the soil layer. In this way, accurate and accurate seed sealing is performed. In this case, there are different types of this equipment, designed for specific crops. A typical solution is a turbo-knife, which performs cutting and the harrow of the earth at a depth of about 10 centimeters. And here we should note another important quality of agricultural machinery for direct sowing. It should as accurately as possible repeat all irregularities in the relief, ensuring the formation of furrows of the required depth. It is for this reason that, at the stage of preparing the field for the "Know-Till" system, it is important to perform a quality alignment. Fulfillment of this condition will relieve of inaccuracies when laying seeds.
To smooth the surface defects, the turbo knifeIt is fixed on rotary columns with a spring mechanism, which allows the tool to ensure uniformity in the cutting of the soil. There are also modifications in which the knife is fixed to the opener. From the point of view of working on uneven surfaces, this is the most unfortunate option, since in places with mounds and depressions the equipment translates the load not to the frame, but to the entire opener design, because of which the stable course of the disc is broken at the set depth of cut. In general, the choice of agricultural machinery for such tasks should be based on such properties as confident cutting of crop residues, ensuring an even cut of soil and sealing seed materials strictly at a given depth. Of course, no design will provide ideal indicators, but you can get closer to them if you pre-estimate the features of a particular section on which the unit will be used.
This technology can not be said to berelieves the farmer of a lot of trouble and expense, allowing you to count on the same amount of harvest, as when doing the labor of the classical methods of cultivation. It has a lot of its nuances, but there are a lot of attractive qualities. Actually, as the implementation of this system, the profession of an agronomist is manifested in the best way, which, first of all, provides for the performance of rational calculations for the exploitation of the land. As for the advantages, the most attractive aspects of the technology are reduced to minimizing the costs of equipment, fuel for it, and also to saving time.
An important factor is the preservation offertile qualities of the earth. This erosion is dangerous not only for a seasonal decline in yields, but also for systematic depletion, which forces landowners to refuse processing their plots. In this case, such risks are excluded, allowing farmers to rely on long-term land use. Separately, specialists note the accumulation of moisture in the soil layer. If the traditional cultivation of the land improves its structure, the preservation of a fertile layer contributes to the normalization of the moisture regime. This advantage is especially significant for steppe and arid regions, where the yield directly depends on the weather conditions.
For starters, there are a number of limitations,which do not allow the use of this system in a number of situations. This applies, for example, to regions with a predominance of wet and wetlands. To bypass this nuance it is possible in the event that the soil is provided with a quality drainage system. Here it is worth noting the restrictions on the exploitation of uneven fields, which it is inexpedient to correct for such purposes. However, these same conditions are optimal for the traditional cultivation of soil, leveling out the main advantages that the know-how technology in the typical version possesses. For example, it concerns the humidity balance, the problem with which, in the case of marshy areas, is in a different plane. Therefore, the use of direct sowing on such lands is simply inexpedient.
Also, despite the advantages of savingfertility, the zero-processing system is not very effective in providing soil protection properties. Often under such conditions, pathogens and pests are spread, only the means of active chemical protection help them to get rid of. Among the shortcomings of No-till, its relative complexity in performance is also noted. It is relieved of the need to perform the usual mechanical operations, but it increases the requirements for observing the standards of cultivation of the crop. Even the profession of an agronomist does not always guarantee that its carrier will be able to successfully implement the technology, having received a decent harvest. The farmer, in particular, requires proper support for crop rotations, as well as knowledge of the types and specific uses of various pesticides. And this is not to mention taking into account the local characteristics of the soil, climate, pest information, etc.
The leaders in the development of technology areagronomists of Canada, Australia and Brazil. In turn, Russia shows rather modest indicators in terms of the area occupied by direct crops. And this despite the fact that most of the domestic plowland is not just optimal for implementing the No-till method, but they need it. Such lands are seldom irrigated, which raises the urgency of questions about the preservation of moisture in the soil structure. At the moment, classical agrotechnical ways of preserving moisture indicators prevail in Russia, among which there are methods of artificial irrigation. But the effectiveness of this method of supporting the optimal condition of the soil raises fears of agronomists. The reviews note that irrigation funds are in effect, while the industry does not have a water shortage, but this problem can also arise in the coming decades, and then the transition to a new system will be much more painful.
And yet some practice of usingThere is a zero technology of land processing for Russian farmers. They also apply a stubble technique to preserve moisture in the soil and use a special technique for seeding. In particular, the agrotechnical complex provides the consumer with dumps, deep-loosers and flat-tops, which in effect give the same effect as the turbo knives. It motivates the use of zero soil cultivation techniques and economic feasibility. Especially this applies to owners of large areas, which for traditional cultivation requires huge investments in equipment and its maintenance.
Of course, the main criterion for choosing one or the otherThe system of farming is the end result. In this case, it is the yield and its qualitative characteristics. Practice shows that the modern system of farming in the form of No-till technology is inferior to the habitual pattern of cultivation. Still, conventional cultivation with a wide range of fertilizer opportunities is bearing fruit, which so far few farmers are ready to give up. But in the long term, a more rational and profitable way of exploiting the land is still the zero system. This is confirmed by the long-term experience of its application in Canada, Australia and other countries that occupy the first positions in the ratings of agricultural production. On the other hand, to evaluate the effectiveness of the method, the soil composition should be analyzed from the outset. Experiments with the transition to a new technology run the risk of a few, and professional research using specialized equipment is also not cheap, although they are performed once.</ p>>