Case Study 4 Argentina

Miracle Farm Blueprint

Organic Farming Manual

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In recent years, Argentina has adopted reduced or zero-tillage practices especially in dryland regions, as a result of soil degradation. Two case studies under various conventional and zero-tillage systems were used: Monte Redondo and Santa Maria provinces (Figure 21.4). The use of CT, zero-tillage (ZT), IF, FYM, and green manure addition scenarios were compared.

Adopting zero tillage will halt the decline in soil carbon. However, to induce CS, organic inputs are needed (green and farmyard manures), and can be used to replace the inorganic fertilizer applications.

0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.1

Monte Redondo

imrnZT GM 10 t ha-1 crop-1, IF

KXH ZT, FYM 1.5 t ha-1 y-1, GM 10 t ha-1 crop-1, no IF

^■ZT: FYM 3.3 t ha-1 crop-1, no IF

Santa Maria

B55WT IF

[X2ZT, FYM 1.5 t ha-1 y-1, GM10 t ha-1 crop-1, no IF

Santa Maria

1 2 3 4 5 SCENARIOS

B55WT IF

[X2ZT, FYM 1.5 t ha-1 y-1, GM10 t ha-1 crop-1, no IF

1 2 3 4 5 SCENARIOS

CT:

Conventional tillage

GM: Green manure

IF:

Inorganic fertilizer

FYM: Farm yard manure

ZF:

Zero tillage

Figure 21.4 Average annual change in soil carbon stock under various practice scenarios (CENTURY) for the case study 4: Argentina.

Figure 21.4 Average annual change in soil carbon stock under various practice scenarios (CENTURY) for the case study 4: Argentina.

The two cases studied in Argentina showed that carbon stocks were reduced considerably after cultivation. At all locations, sharp falls in carbon stocks occurred of about 15 metric tons ha-1. The adoption of no-tillage practices has halted this decline and even led to a small increase in carbon levels on the order of 0.02 metric tons ha-1 year-1. Rotations with significant periods for return to grasslands (4 years in 11) resulted in further carbon increases. The highest rates of CS occurred when zero tillage includes cultivation with green manures and addition of farmyard manures.

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