A Bianchini


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Sustainable agriculture in Argentina

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A Bianchini

  1. 1. Sustainable agriculture in Argentina Agustín Bianchini Aapresid Argentinean No-Till Farmers Association
  2. 2. Outline - Overview of crops in Argentina. - New production environment. - What have we learned from RR corn? - Sustainable agriculture certification. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  3. 3. No-tillage expansion World Total = 95 million ha Latin America = 47 million ha Argentina = 20 million ha Source: Source: Derpsch – AAPRESID (2006) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  4. 4. No-Till evolution in Argentina (1977-2005) No- (1977- 20 18 Area (Million hectares) 16 14 GMO 12 10 AAPRESID 8 6 4 2 0 1977/78 1986/87 1988/89 1990/91 1992/93 1994/95 1996/97 1998/99 2000/01 2002/03 2004/05 Source: Source: AAPRESID (2005)
  5. 5. Introduction and adoption of technologies in agriculture in Argentina (1980-2000) 100 Adoption of GM varieties 80 Planted area (%) Agro-chemical 60 use No-tillage 40 20 Precision Agriculture 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 Source: Viglizzo, 2006; adapted from Satorre, 2005
  6. 6. New approach Farmers are managing an offer of environmental resources: water, light, CO2, nutrients, etc. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  7. 7. TRADITIONAL SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURE Modification of the Adaptation of the plant environment and the technology (soil) Plant Environment Yield Sustainable production potential potential Source: Gil (2005)
  8. 8. New environment - More crops per unit of time (intensification) - Reduction / elimination of chemical fallow - High soil residue cover, with higher soil moisture - Partial replacement of chemical Nitrogen by biological Nitrogen (use of legumes) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  9. 9. Agro-ecosystem biological changes - Changes in pest populations (new pests) - Higher soil biological activity, and pressure of soil fungi (stalk and root diseases) - New weed population patterns (diversity and abundance) - High pressure of annual grasses (importance of RR technology), but lower broadleaf pressure - Medium presence of other species with small seeds - Eventual appearance of glyphosate tolerant (Viola, Commelina, Conyza, Cyperus, etc.) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  10. 10. Specific needs - Seed quality (energy, vigor, purity, calibration) - Seed treatments - Tools for managing soil diseases (biotechnology?) - Selective residual herbicides for high residue cover - Better control of RR crops, when they act as weeds (volunteer RR corn, farmers need and have other options) - Resistance prevention in weeds by application of integrated weed management programs Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  11. 11. Crop rotation advantages: why corn in no-till? • Diversification of productive risks • Nutrient and water balance of crops • Composition and density of soil residue cover • Biological activity and diversity • Interruption of weed and insect cycles • Competition alternation for light, water and nutrients, for weeds • Variation in the “application timing ” of herbicides • Variation of the selective herbicides that are applied in each crop of the rotation • Improvement in soil physical conditions (structure and porosity) • Intensification: use the stored water in NT Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  12. 12. Roundup Ready Corn in Argentina - RR technology allowed to grow corn in weedy fields. - In high weed pressure areas, grain yields were increased. - RR corn has the same tolerance to selective herbicides as conventional corn.
  13. 13. Roundup Ready Corn in Argentina - Adopted by small (< 500 ha), medium, and large farmers (> 5000 ha), since 2004. - 70% of the crops in Argentina are under no-till. - 47% of the corn is RR (mainly NK-603, and the rest is GA-21), offered by around 10 seed companies.
  14. 14. Roundup Ready Corn in Argentina - Typical Roundup Ready corn weed control program: - Residual selective herbicide at pre-plant or pre-emergence (atrazine, acetochlor), at low application rate, to guarantee a good initial control, and to reduce the selection pressure of glyphosate resistant biotypes. - Post-emergence glyphosate at V4-V5 growth stage.
  15. 15. Roundup Ready corn weed control program FALLOW PLANTING DEVELOPMENT HARVEST V4-V5 Glyphosate Residual herbicide (atrazine, acetochlor) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  16. 16. Roundup Ready Corn in Argentina - Farmers must rotate crops and herbicides (2+ a.i.) to reduce weed resistance risk. - Use other herbicides (in combination with glyphosate) with the lowest application rate and the appropriate timing, to make them effective and avoid crop damage.
  17. 17. I – Context Analysis The dilemma “The humanity faces today a dilemma with no apparent solution, between the ghost of the lack of food for an increasing demand in quantity and quality, or a destruction of the natural resources needed to produce them”. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  18. 18. II– The no-till system Concept New agricultural paradigm Productive system based on the absence of tillage and the presence of permanent soil cover with crops and residues Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  19. 19. II– The no-till system Positive impacts - 90% less soil erosion. - 40% less fuel use. - Maintenance or improvement of the soil organic matter. - Increase in soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological). - Higher water use efficiency. - Lower production costs. - Higher production stability and yield potential. TANGIBLE BENEFITS FOR THE FARMER Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  20. 20. II– The no-till system Benefits, beyond the farmer - Better soils, higher capability to produce food and energy. - Less competition for drinkable water (strategic resource). - Higher water quality (lower erosion and contamination risk). - GHG emissions reduction, positive impact on climate change. - Less pressure on HCV and fragile areas (by production increase). - Possibility of producing in degraded and/or fragile lands without the known risks of conventional tillage. BENEFITS TANGIBLE FOR THE SOCIETY (EXTERNALITY) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  21. 21. III– Productive and environmental quality management system in CA Objectives: - To provide tools for a professional agronomical management, by the ordered registry of information and the analysis of the soil quality and efficiency indicators. - To show to the rest of the society how are the production processes and its impact on the environment, allowing to capture the value of the positive externality that the CA makes in it. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  22. 22. III– Productive and environmental quality management system in CA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Why? Because there are scientific fundamentals that correlate soil health indicator values with agronomical practices Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  23. 23. GAP 1: No Tillage (residue cover) NO-TILLAGE is a synonym of crop residue
  24. 24. GAP 2: Crop rotation: Diversity and intensity Coronel Suarez , Buenos Aires, Argentina Federico Roveda (2007)
  25. 25. GAP 3: Balanced crop nutrition + Nitrogen + Phosphorus Control + Sulphur
  26. 26. GAP 4: Integrated pest, weed and disease management. Including the correct agrochemical management and its containers
  27. 27. GAP 5: Efficient and responsible management of agrochemicals
  28. 28. Certified Agriculture It is the production alternative that better combines the interests – many times confronted – of reaching a production: - Economically viable for farmers. - Environmentally sustainable. - Socially accepted. - Energetically efficient. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  29. 29. Thank you!!!! bianchini@aapresid.org.ar www.ac.org.ar/english Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  30. 30. Roundup Ready Corn in Argentina The channel for GM corn does not require segregation, unless there is a “GM-free” requirement by the customer.
  31. 31. Main international actions - Participation in ISGA (International Soybean Growers Alliance) - Participation in RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy Association) - Participation in RSB (Round Table of Sustainable Biofuels) - CA presentation in FAO workshop (July 2008, Rome) - Presentation at the DG TREN for the Renewable Energy Directive - Presentation in international events (EU, China, United States, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, etc.). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  32. 32. New production system No-tillage Crop rotation Technology Biotechnology Balanced fertilization Monitoring, diagnosis and efficient nutrient application Integrated Pest Management Weather forecasts management Professional calibration of equipment No-till is basically more knowledge integrated in a production system
  33. 33. I – Context analysis: Demand vs. Offer: At which cost? The case of agriculture Intensive tillage destroys the biological and ecological integrity of the soil system (Reicosky, 2004). Wind and water erosion, are a consequence of conventional tillage and cause contamination of the water resources. A higher CO2 emission due to tillage increases the greenhouse effect (Adapted from Moraes Sá, 2004). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  34. 34. III– Productive and environmental quality management system in CA Components: - Principles & Criteria: - RTRS, RSB, ISGA, RTSPO, FSC, FAO - Management indicators: - in the soil - resource use efficiency - Good Agricultural Practices Protocol (GAP’s) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  35. 35. III– Productive and environmental quality management system in CA Potential uses 1. Associated to the agronomical management: - Decision making in ag management (crop rotation, fertilization, etc). - Analysis of the evolution of the impact management in the system (time). 2. Associated to existing business or easily accessible: - Credit evaluation (environmental and production balance). - Carbon trading markets. 3. Associated to new businesses: - Business by contract. Ex: food, biofuels. - Added value, access to preferential markets. - Traceability, ID preserved, segregation, mass balance, book & claim. - Country brands (sustainability). - GHG emissions, deforestation, social and labor rights Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  36. 36. •How did argentine farmers grow corn before the introduction of RR hybrids? •Is RR corn in Argentina adopted only in bigger farms or also in the smaller one’s •How does a typical RR corn weed control program looks like? •Did the introduction of RR corn led to more corn monoculture? •Do farmers pro-actively implement glyphosate weed resistance management? •What are the farmer benefits (including non-tangible benefits)? •How does RR corn lead farmer to go for conservation tillage? did they need to invest in equipment or had it already? •Highlight benefit of Conservation tillage for sustainable agriculture. •Details about the management of harvested RR corn at grain handler / elevator level. Is there a different channeling for gm / non gm products?
  37. 37. Participation in international events to position CA and capture the value Agreement with SGS for Aplication in more (RTRS, RSB, ISGA, FAO) external audit and than 50.000 ha. in certification Argentina. Agreement with BCR Elaboration of a Soil Testing Laboratory Protocol and GAPs Agreement with Manual AGROECOINDEX Alliances with province governments Agreement with Wageningen University Alliance with the / Dutch Embassy Agribusiness Program for strategic planning (UBA) Agrolimpio Agreement (CASAFE). Validation and search process for biological indicators (BIOSPAS).
  38. 38. An improvement in soil porosity, increases water use efficiency, by improving water infiltration, decreasing runoff and evaporation losses, and improving the water retention
  39. 39. I – Context analysis: The demand - It is estimated that in the next 50 years, the population that today exceeds 6 billion people will increase by 50%. - In 2050 there will be between 9 billion people (Solbrig, 2002) and 11 billion people (Izquierdo, 1998). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  40. 40. I – Context analysis: The offer “In global terms, the humanity has responded to the increase in the global demand of food and energy (we are aware that distribution is a opened issue)” Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  41. 41. I – Context analysis: Demand vs. Offer: At which cost? Ecological Footprint: Area of land biologically productive and water needs to provide ecological resources and services (Demand) Living Planet Report, 2008 Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  42. 42. I – Context analysis: Demand vs. Offer: At which cost? Living Planet Report, 2008 Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  43. 43. I – Context analysis: Demand vs. Offer: At which cost? Living Planet Report, 2008 Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  44. 44. In NT the function of the roots and the fauna plays an important role in the soil porosity regeneration
  45. 45. III– Productive and environmental quality management system in CA Indicators: why? - Because they allow to access confident management information, with scientific basis. basis. - To be able to observe quanti and qualitative recent changes in the management and its impact in the system. - To allow to integrate physical, chemical and biological properties and to interpret complex processes. - Because they allow to clarify processes: “ecological traceability” (Viglizzo). - Because they are tools to certify products and processes, and also to create brands (Viglizzo). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  46. 46. Agronomical Management Indicators Sources Used: • FAO, ISGA, FCAA, USB, RTRS, RSB, RSPO, Rain Forest Alliance • National & international research studies Peer review: J.L. Arzeno (INTA Salta), N. Darwich (Consultor Privado), M. Díaz-Zorita (FAUBA-Nitragin), M. Ferrari (INTA Pergamino), J. Galantini (UN del Sur), V. Gudelj (INTA Marcos Juárez), E. Jobbagy (UN San Luis), M. Puente (Lab. GEA San Luis), C. Quintero (UN Entre Ríos). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  47. 47. Certified Agriculture A commitment that Aapresid, as organization assumes, to contribute to the increase of the wellbeing of the local and global society, in the conflict solution Productivity vs. Environment. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  48. 48. Agronomical Management Indicators 1.a. Direct Indicators: PHYSICAL (R. Gil/A.M. Lupi) CHEMICAL (F. García/A. Bianchini) – Texture – Phosphorus – Bulk Density – Sulphur – Total Porosity – Salinity/Sodicity(CE/PSI) – Aireation Porosity – pH – Water Infiltration – Crop Residue Cover CARBON (R. Gil/A.M. Lupi) – Soil Carbon Dynamics Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  49. 49. Agronomical Management Indicators 1.b. Indirect indicators: - Crop rotation diversity and intensity. - Nutrient balance (N, P, S). - Fosil energy use (Agro-Eco-Index). - Water use (Agro-Eco-Index). 1.c. Resource use efficiency: - Water use efficiency (Agro-Eco-Index). - Energy use efficiency (Agro-Eco-Index). Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  50. 50. I – Context analysis Globalization: BIG (Berlin, Internet, Gatt) - Winners / losers syndrome (increase in gaps): However, this doesn’t mean that when somebody wins, others necessarily must loose. - An economy with competition sum zero must be replaced by an economy with creation of values (win-win) The concept is also applicable to the compatibility between development and environment: Together with the “environment right” we should institutionalize in the international community a “development right” (di Castri, 2002). - 4E paradigm (Economy, Energy, Ethics and Environment) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  51. 51. I – Context analysis Society of the Information - That of the services and knowledge and the organization in networks (Castells, 1996). - That in which the traditional production factors: capital, land, machinery, and labor are minimized in the economic importance, by the fast appearance of the sciences and the new technologies and that advances fast due to the explosion of communications (Palom Izquierdo, 2004). - Importance of the Human Resources (di Castri, 2002) Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  52. 52. I – Context analysis: The future offer - Future scenarios (Solbrig, 2002): 1) The technology goes together, it is produced at the rhythm of the demand. Environment? 2) Abandoned of the technological agriculture, no response to the demand. Hunger/Wars? 3) Part of the world that produces food with technology, part without technology and more price. Unstable equilibrium? However, Solbrig (2003) says that the damage to the environment is not inevitable. - New opportunity of solution not so conflictive of the dilemma. - New opportunity of business. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  53. 53. I – Context analysis: Searching for solutions - Do we respond to the increase in demand? Yes. - What strategies do we know? Increase by productivity and area expansion. - Is the environmental damage inevitable? No. There is an opportunity from agriculture. Clean technologies (scientifically proven). - Is the economic development compatible with the environmental sustainability? Necessarily, we need to work for that. The No-Till certification is thought from this point of view No- Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  54. 54. GAP 6: Cattle production
  55. 55. Certified Agriculture It allows to show to the society how are the production processes for food and energy, giving the possibility to capture the value of the positive externality that this production system generates on the environment. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT
  56. 56. IV– Conclusions of the QMS/CA - Certification of productive processes in no-till. Innovative and original proposal. - General principles and standards with local adaptation, based on GAP’s and soil quality indicators (scientific basis). - Network structure, coordinated by NGO (Aapresid, key aspect in the implementation, with global projection). - Independent consultation and certification companies. - Focus on agronomical and environmental management. - Differentiation of the process and not the product - Capture of the value by improving the agronomic management, possibility of new businesses, and better price or access to preferential markets. Certified Agriculture The evolution of NT