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An index to rate the quality of no-till systems: a conceptual framework.Glaucio Roloff
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An index to rate the quality of no-till systems: a conceptual framework.Glaucio Roloff

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A presentation from the WCCA 2011 conference in Brisbane.

A presentation from the WCCA 2011 conference in Brisbane.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. An index to rate the quality of no-till systems: a conceptual framework Glaucio RoloffFederal University of Latin-American Integration (UNILA) Ramiro A. T. Lutz Vetagro Crop Consultants Ivo Mello Brazilian No-Till Federation (FEBRAPDP) Cooperation FEBRAPDP – ITAIPU Binacional 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011
  • 2. No-Till System (NTS): in Brazil Prevailing system for grains by far, especially within last 15 years  ~30 million ha, ~50% of total cropland Early adopters: an effective soil conservation technique Current reality:  relatively stable yields and timely seeding  saves fuel and time  more crops over a time period, e.g. ...  soybean/corn/oats (cover) → regular rainfall winters  soybean/corn+Bracchiaria (cover and pasture) → dry winters 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 2
  • 3. NTS: sustainability Conservation agriculture – simultaneously and balanced:  Permanent soil cover  Absence of field-wide tillage prevalent view  Crop rotation 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 3
  • 4. NTS: sustainability??Eastern Parana State Western Parana State Northwestern Rio Grande do Sul State 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 4
  • 5. NTS: sustainability?? Central Parana State (Joaquim Costa, COAMO) 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 5
  • 6. NTS: sustainability??Western Parana State Western Parana State(Tiago Minozzo) (Tiago Minozzo) 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 6
  • 7. NTS: current shortcomings in BrazilReasons for the non adherence to key components:  Bollinger et al. (2006) Advances in Agronomy, 91, 47-64 – Farmers... » …unable to afford cover crops and appropriate herbicides » …interested only in commercial crops – Perceived need to till eventually to... » …alleviate compaction » …incorporate lime  In addition – Crop consulting dissociated from sustainability issues – Agricultural policies dissociated from environmental policies – Environmental policies ignore positive externalities from NTS – Erosion and runoff no more seen as a problem » complacency 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 7
  • 8. NTS in BrazilAdherence to key components needs to be improved … and hence improve NTS environmental servicesHow to gauge adherence? Through a NTS quality index 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 8
  • 9. NTS in BrazilCA key components cover all environmental externalities? • Kassam et al. (2009) International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 7, 292–320. » Ideal CA soil should approach forest floor condition ...hence minimal water runoff (among others) • Usual NTS conditions far from ideal » Inappropriate crop rotations → poor soil cover at times » Compaction • Rainfall intensities often > stable infiltration rates » up to yearly run-off eventsRun-off management should be an explicit component of anyNTS quality assessment 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 9
  • 10. NTS QualityNTS Quality...capacity of a given no-till field to maintain or increase crop andlivestock productivity while maintaining or enhancing soil, water and airquality and other environmental services.NTS Quality Index (NTSQI) premises and development • based on a regional benchmark set of best practices • constructed from recognisable indicators → self-evaluation • sampling-free and non seasonal • specific to NTS • address directly or indirectly the four key system components • allow for the recognition of critically low key indicators • indicators defined by expert opinion and farmers input 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 10
  • 11. NTS Quality IndexNTSQI development • Crop rotation and soil cover (partially) » Rotation intensity (RI) » Rotation diversity (RD) » Crop residue persistence (RP) • Soil cover (partially) and tillage absence » Tillage frequency (TF) • Run-off volume management » Terrace adequacy (TA) » Conservation evaluation (CE) • Soil cover (partially) and Run-off quality (P) management » Balanced nutrition (BN) • Composited effects » NTS adoption time (AT) 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 11
  • 12. NTS Quality IndexNTSQI formulae Ei Ii = ith indicator Ii= Ei = current or future parameter value Bi Bi = benchmark value NTSQI= ∑ ( Ii∗ fi ) fi = subjective weighing factor 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 12
  • 13. NTS Quality IndexNTSQI test • 24 voluntary farmers over 6 small river basins • Questionnaire (assisted evaluation) 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 13
  • 14. NTS Quality IndexRegionalised NTSQI parameters Indicator Ei fi Bi Critical RI Crops past 3 yrs 1.5 9 0.56 RD Crop species past 3 yrs 1.5 4 0.50 RP Grass cover crops past 3 yrs 1.5 6 0.50 TF Whole field tillage operations past 3 yrs 1.5 6 0.50 TA Run-off over-topping events past 5 yrs 1.0 ---- 0.50 Cumulative absence of downhill seeding, CE whole field and edge compaction signs, and 1.0 4 0.50 visible erosion BN Cumulative presence of manure addition, soil 1.0 3 0.33 sampling and nutrient balance 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 14 AT Years of no-till adoption 1.0 22 0.33
  • 15. NTS Quality IndexNTSQI test Indicator Farme r B as in NTSQI RI RD RP TF TA CE BN AT 1 Ajuricaba 6,15 0,78 1,00 0,50 0,80 0,00 0,50 0,67 0,36 2 Ajuricaba 6.9 7,81 0,89 0,75 0,83 1,00 0,50 0,75 0,67 0,68 3 Ajuricaba 6,59 0,78 0,75 0,67 0,80 0,00 0,75 0,67 0,68 4 Buriti 8,19 0,85 0,75 0,78 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,64 5 Buriti 7.5 7,44 0,78 0,75 0,67 1,00 0,50 0,75 0,67 0,73 6 Buriti 6,87 0,95 0,75 0,92 0,80 0,50 0,63 0,67 0,71 7 Facão Torto 7,29 0,74 0,75 0,61 1,00 0,83 0,58 0,67 0,56 8 Facão Torto 6,73 0,67 0,50 0,67 0,80 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,36 9 Facão Torto 7.0 7,63 0,89 1,00 0,67 0,80 0,50 0,75 0,67 0,68 10 Facão Torto 5,50 1,00 0,25 1,00 0,00 1,00 0,75 0,33 0,05 11 Mineira 5,80 0,89 1,00 0,17 1,00 0,00 0,50 0,67 0,05 12 Mineira 5.8 6,98 0,84 1,00 0,42 1,00 0,50 0,50 0,33 0,68 13 Mineira 5,86 0,67 0,75 0,50 0,80 0,00 0,75 0,67 0,36 14 Pacuri 7,43 0,67 0,75 0,50 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,64 15 Pacuri 5,92 0,89 0,50 1,00 0,00 0,50 0,25 1,00 0,59 16 Pacuri Pacuri 7.5 7,06 0,67 0,75 0,50 0,80 0,50 7,51 0,89 0,75 0,83 0,80 0,50 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,67 0,82 0,68 17 18 Toledo 7,77 0,73 0,38 0,84 1,00 0,75 0,63 0,67 0,80 19 Toledo 9,04 1,00 0,75 1,00 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,67 1,00 20 Toledo 7,58 0,67 0,50 0,67 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,91 21 Toledo Toledo 8.4 7,48 0,78 0,75 0,67 1,00 0,50 8,03 0,78 0,75 0,67 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,75 0,67 0,67 0,77 0,82 22 23 Toledo 7,56 0,85 0,45 0,77 1,00 0,70 0,75 0,67 0,68 24 Toledo 0,50 7,525th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 0,67 0,75 1,00 1,00 0,75 0,67 0,7315 Number of critical farms: 0 6 7 2 13 4 2 2
  • 16. NTS Quality IndexConclusions: • NTSQI can be... » … used to rank farmers and basins to promote awareness. » … be a tool to prioritise actions to improve NTS quality and hence of its environmental services. 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 16
  • 17. Thank youglaucio.roloff@unila.edu.br 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 5th WCCA & 3rd FSD Brisbane 2011 17

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