Campaña 2020/21: cómo impacta el uso de cultivos de cobertura en suelos con escasa humedad por la falta de lluvias

El problema de las malezas resistentes se ha expandido por todas las principales zonas agrícolas lo que le ha provocado al productor un aumento en los costos para el control. En 2010 había solamente 4 malezas con resistencia a dos modos de acción mientras que 10 años más tarde, suman 39 biotipos de 21 especies con resistencia a cuatro sitios de acción. Y de este total, hay 13 especies que tienen resistencia múltiple, según datos de la Rem de Aapresid.

Por eso, ante esta dificultad, se incorporó nuevos manejos agrícolas en los últimos años. Uno de ellos fue la rotación de cultivos y de principios activos. Pero también se comenzó a difundir el uso de cultivos de cobertura.

“Los productores lo están adoptando por un tema de necesidad”, afirmó Julia Capurro, Jefa de la Agencia de Extensión Rural de Cañada de Gómez, Santa Fe, quien es una de las referentes que está disponible en el Centro de Expertos de Expoagro Digital edición YPF Agro que se realiza hasta el viernes a las 14 hs.


Cover Crop Roots Are An Essential Key To Understanding Ecosystem Services

To judge the overall effectiveness of cover crops and choose those offering the most ecosystem services, agricultural scientists must consider the plants’ roots as well as above-ground biomass, according to Penn State researchers who tested the characteristics of cover crop roots in three monocultures and one mixture.

“Almost everything that we know about the growth of cover crops is from measuring the above-ground parts and yet some of the benefits that we want to get from cover crops come from the roots,” said researcher Jason Kaye, professor of soil biogeochemistry. “This study shows us that what we see above ground is sometimes — but not always — reflective of the benefits below ground.”

Cover crops are widely used to increase the quantity of organic carbon returned to the soil between cash crops such as corn, wheat and soybean, as well as to limit erosion and to fix or add nitrogen to the soil.


Seeds: Regenerative Gold Medal Winner

Author: Kerry Hoffschneider | Published: June 5, 2018

Colleen Fulton won a gold medal in the Public Speaking Competition at both the Nebraska District FFA and State FFA Convention competitions this year. Her speech was entitled, “Regenerative Agriculture.” However, long before Colleen achieved these awards, her father Kevin Fulton, a farmer and rancher near Litchfield, Neb., went on a journey through agriculture that led him to change to the regenerative approach that has had a lasting impact on all his children – Colleen, Cami and Timothy.

Kevin attended High School in Loup City and assumed leadership roles at a very young age – everything from FFA president, captain of the football team to president of National Honor Society. He then went to college at Kansas State University to achieve a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He later went on to graduate school where he earned a master’s degree in exercise physiology and spent 27 years in competitive weightlifting – all over the country and world. That led him to a career as the Head Strength and Conditioning coach at the University of Massachusetts.


Producer Gail Fuller Offers 8 Lessons From His Career in Cover Crops

Author: Amy Bickel | Published: May 22, 2018

Unlike his conventional counterparts, Gail Fuller doesn’t focus on maximizing yields.

The Emporia, Kansas, farmer thinks differently than the age-old mantra that, with 10 billion people expected on the plant by mid-century, farmers must feed the world.

“I’m sorry if you are buying into that crock,” Fuller says bluntly.

Instead, Fuller made the decision to base his profitability and success on the health of his soil.

“Soil is life and life is soil,” he said to a crowd at his annual Fuller Field School in Emporia last month. “We have 60 years of topsoil left and that was as of 2012. If we continue this current production model, we might not be able to feed the world by 2050 because we might not have all the soil left to do it.”

Lessons from Gail

Fuller started the school seven years ago to educate others about regenerative ag, a concept growing across rural America. He wants his soil healthy and full of life—from microorganisms like nematodes, protozoa and mycorrhizal fungi working unseen below the earth to the beneficial insects and livestock above.


You Can Change Your Soil

Author: Cindy Snyder | Published: February 12, 2018

BURLEY — After 25 years of experimenting with cover crop mixes and tillage practices, Gabe Brown has a simple message for those who would like to put their farms or ranches on a more sustainable path.

“You have the ability to change your soils and your operation,” he told a crowd of more than 300 Thursday at a soil health workshop in Burley. “You can do it.”

When Brown and his wife bought her parents farm in Burleigh County, N.D., in 1991, the soils had less than 2 percent organic matter. A double ring infiltration test showed the ground could only take a half inch of water per hour. The crop rotation had been wheat, oats and barley — all cool season grasses.

Today those same fields have 5 percent organic matter and the soil can take an inch of water in 9 seconds. The second inch took 16 seconds to infiltrate.

“Don’t tell me the soils you have are what you are stuck with,” Brown said. “We can all make changes.”

Not that the process is quick or simple. And Brown warns there is no cookie-cutter approach.

He travels across the U.S. speaking to other farmers about his 5,000-acre farm and also hosts tours of his farm. Everyday he receives more than 100 emails from farmers, most of them asking the same question: What cover crop mix should I plant?

“I didn’t choose your wife,” Brown told the audience. “Why would I choose your cover crop?”

Not matching the cover crop to the resource concern is the most common reason cover crops fail. Brown shared an example of a farmer in South Dakota who baled off his winter wheat straw and then seeded turnips and radishes into the residue. He then grazed off the cover crop and called Brown to complain that the field was still blowing away.

The problem wasn’t hard to diagnose. Brassicas accelerate residue decomposition, and the farmer had already reduced the residue by baling off the straw. There wasn’t enough carbon in the system to armor the soil.

“Cover crops work,” Brown said. “What didn’t work was the person making the planting decision.”

If a seed dealer does not ask a producer within the first couple of questions what resource concern the producer wants to address with a cover crop, Brown recommends hanging up the phone and calling another dealer. “They don’t have your best interest in mind.”


Man Who Wrote the Book on Regenerative Agriculture Says Conservation is the Fifth Ag Revolution

Published: February 5, 2018

According to Dr. David Montgomery, author and professor at the University of Washington who spoke to farmers during the 22nd Annual No-Till on the Plains Winter Conference, our soils around the world have been severely degraded due to conventional agricultural practices. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, Montgomery says soil degradation has taken on two forms in modern times.

“One, is the erosion and loss of soil itself, like what happened in the Dust Bowl for example,” Montgomery explained. “But also, in terms of degraded soil organic matter – the carbon that’s in the soil. You can think of it as food for the microbes that actually help build soil fertility.”

Listen to Dr. David Montgomery and Carson Horn speak about how regenerative agriculture can reverse the effects of soil degradation here.

Montgomery says in North America, about half of our soil organic matter has been degraded, averaged across the United States. Globally, he says, it is about the same. Not only is that a devastating amount to have lost, it is also continuing to be lost at an alarming rate.

“The pace of global soil degradation at present, shows we’re losing 0.3 percent of our agricultural land capacity globally each year,” he said. “That sounds like a small number, but you play that out over the next 100 years and we’d be on track to lose a third of our agricultural productive capacity while we’re on track to raise our population by 50 percent. Those numbers are working against each other.”


How a Grain and Legume Farmer Harvests Nutrition from the Soil

Larry Kandarian grows legumes alongside ancient grains on his California farm, producing a polyculture that benefits both the health of the land and his own.

Author: Clarissa Wei | Published: January 9, 2018

“I’m 72, but I consider myself middle-aged,” said Larry Kandarian of Kandarian Organic Farms as he smiled and took a sip of his stew. Sitting in his trailer with a sun-weathered tan, Kandarian looks like any other farmer in the state.

And for a while, he was.

In the 1970s, Kandarian started off as a conventional farmer specializing in flowers and California native plants on his farm in Los Osos, about 100 miles northwest of Santa Barbara on California’s central coast. He decided to pivot full-time to growing organic, ancient grains eight years ago after the recession shrank the market for his goods.

“I figured that people still have to eat grains,” he said of the shift.

But what sets him apart now is his approach to growing food. Instead of deeply plowing the land and mixing in sheets of fertilizers to ensure high yields like most farmers in America, Kandarian employs a minimal-tillage system and uses absolutely no fertilizers or compost.

For fertility, Kandarian takes advantage of the nitrogen-fixing properties of plants in the legume family like clover, beans, and sweet pea. He sows legume seeds in the ground after the grain is harvested, leaving the chaff of the grains still on the field. The chaff decomposes and fertilizes the legume crop. The legume crop, as it grows, fixes nitrogen into the soil.


ND Farmer Stresses Importance of Regenerative Agriculture

Author: Elizabeth Varin | Published: December 20, 2017

Gabe Brown hasn’t tilled his land near Bismarck, N.D., since 1994.

He hasn’t used synthetic fertilizer since 2007.

Yet he said he’s still seeing yields measuring above Burleigh County averages and he’s still turning a profit profit.

“We’re our worst enemy, not allowing nature to function,” he said last week at the South Dakota Grassland Coalition 2017 Winter Road Show’s stop at the Dakota Event Center.

“…We cannot have ecological integrity without human integrity,” he said. “All of us need to look in the mirror and realize that our management decisions that we make every day on our operation affect thousands of people, really hundreds of thousands of people. Because they’re affecting the mineral cycle, the water cycle, the nutrient cycle.”

Brown argued in favor of looking beyond cash crops and into the ecosystem of the land farmers are using.

“It’s not that I’ve got more nutrients,” he said, comparing his land to tilled land, land with minimal crop diversity and land on which lots of synthetic fertilizer is used. “They have that much in their soils also. It’s just that it’s not available. Because they don’t have the biology and the healthy ecosystem to make those nutrients available.”

Brown spoke about regenerative agriculture, a land management approach that aims to improve soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density.

“You’ve got to think outside the box to make profit in commodity markets,” he said.

The crowd included a mix of farmers and conservationists, said Valeree DeVine, Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist.

“What we like to see is that they come and hear a message from another farmer and rancher,” she said. “As an agency we can talk it but we can’t show them what we’ve done on our own operation. So we feel that it means more from another farmer and rancher.”


Healthy Soils Program: Diversity of Farms Awarded, Cover Crops and Compost Most Popular Practices

Author: Brian Shobe | Published: December 13, 2017

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced its first round of grants for the Healthy Soils Program last week. In our first blogpost about the awards, we shared a summary of the awards by project type (incentives versus demonstration) and a breakdown of the awards by county. In this blogpost, we share a preliminary analysis of the distribution of the awards based on land use type and the practices projects plan to adopt.

This preliminary analysis is based on our interpretations[i] of the one-paragraph project descriptions provided by applicants, which you can read here:

Incentives Projects

The 64 incentives projects are fairly well distributed across the major agricultural land use categories in California, with a quarter of the awards going to orchards, a quarter to annual cropland, and 13-14% each to vineyards, grazing/range lands, and mixed land use operations. Nine percent of project descriptions were too vague to determine their land use.

We were excited to learn that nearly three out of four projects awarded will be adopting more than one practice; furthermore, nearly one in four projects will be adopting four or more practices! Numerous studies have demonstrated that combining Healthy Soils practices has a synergistic effect on soil health and GHG emissions.

Cover cropping is by far the most popular practice with more than half (39) of the projects planning to adopt it. Compost applications to perennial crops (21) and annual crops (18), mulching (14), and hedgerow planting (16) are also quite popular, with more than a quarter of projects including those practices. The “herbaceous cover practices” (e.g. contour buffer strips, field border, filter strip, etc.) seemed to be the least popular, with at best a handful of projects planning to adopt those practices. However, it is important to remember that in order to be eligible for any of the “herbaceous or woody cover practices,” an applicant had to adopt or maintain an existing “soil management practice.” This likely prevented some farmers and ranchers who were interested solely in the “herbaceous or woody practices” from applying.


How Midwestern Farmers Could Help Save the Gulf of Mexico

Author: Tom Philpott | Published: July/August 2017

This cool technique can rescue sea creatures and soil—so why aren’t more farmers using it?

If you pay state taxes in Maryland, you fund a program that gives farmers as much as $90 per acre—$22,500 annually for a typical corn operation—to plant a crop that’s not even intended for harvest. This absurd-sounding initiative cost the state’s coffers a cool $24 million in 2015.

Yet I come not to expose a government boon­doggle, but to praise an effort crucial to saving our most valuable fisheries. Let me explain.

Every summer, an algal bloom stretches along the Chesapeake Bay, the most productive estuary in the continental United States. As the algae dies, it sucks oxygen from the water, suffocating or driving away marine life. Cleaning up the dead zones would lead to more productive fisheries, increased tourism, and higher property values—benefits that would total $22 billion per year, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

What drives the algal blooms is what makes corn grow tall: nitrogen. The corn that farmers plant sucks up 50 percent or less of the nitrogen in the fertilizer they apply in the spring. But come harvest, there are no plants to absorb the excess, and so it leaches into streams and runs off into the bay—where it fertilizes a bumper crop of algae.

By paying farmers to plant a winter-­hardy crop like rye right after corn is harvested in the fall, Maryland is trying to solve that problem. The rye absorbs the excess nitrogen and is typically harvested in the spring—before it matures into an actual grain crop—to make way for corn and soybeans. The chaff is either tilled under or left as is; when farmers plant into it, the dead vegetation crowds out weeds.

The program owes its origins largely to a 1998 University of Maryland study that showed planting rye after corn reduced nitrate leaching by about 80 percent. When cover crops were used for seven straight seasons, the researchers found, the nitrate levels in the water table dropped by 50 percent or more. Now, more than half of all corn and soybean acres in Maryland are covered in the winter, keeping 3.4 million pounds of nitrogen out of the Chesapeake Bay.