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The National Agricultural Library is one of four national libraries of the United States, with locations in Beltsville, Maryland and Washington, D.C. It houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries. In fiscal year 2011 (Oct 2010 through Sept 2011) NAL delivered more than 100 million direct customer service transactions.

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Journal Article

Journal Article

Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture  [2015]

Pittelkow, Cameron M.; Liang, Xinqiang; Linquist, Bruce A.; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; et al.

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One of the primary challenges of our time is to feed a growing and more demanding world population with reduced external inputs and minimal environmental impacts, all under more variable and extreme climate conditions of the future. Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a set of three crop management principles (direct planting of crops with minimum soil disturbance (i.e. no-till), permanent soil cover by crop residues or cover crops, and crop rotation) that has received strong international support to help address this challenge, with recent CA efforts focusing on smallholder farming systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, CA is highly debated, both with respect to its effects on crop yields and its applicability in different farming contexts. Here, we conducted a global meta-analysis of 5551 paired yield observations from 613 studies comparing no-till, the original and central concept of CA, to conventional tillage practices across 33 crops and 60 countries. Overall, our results show that no-till reduces yields on average by 4.7% (95% CI: -5.7 to -3.7%) . Importantly, we found that when the other two CA principles are implemented, the negative impacts of no-till are minimized and it takes less time for no-till to match conventional yields following no-till adoption. Moreover, in rainfed agroecosystems under dry climates, no-till in combination with the other two principles significantly increases productivity. While farming systems are
multifunctional and both environmental and socio-economic factors need to be considered, our meta-analysis indicates that no-till is an effective longer-term climate change adaptation strategy in ever-becoming-drier regions of the world, but only when it is integrated with residue retention and crop rotation.
From the journal
Nature
ISSN : 0028-0836

Bibliographic information

Language:
English
Type:
Journal Article
In AGRIS since:
2015
Volume:
517
Issue:
7534
Start Page:
365
End Page:
368
All titles:
"Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture"@eng
Other:
"Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted."
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Bibliographic information

Language:
English
Type:
Journal Article
In AGRIS since:
2015
Volume:
517
Issue:
7534
Start Page:
365
End Page:
368
All titles:
"Productivity limits and potentials of the principles of conservation agriculture"@eng
Other:
"Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted."