THE CON­SER­VA­TION GAME

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Sommerset College -

Sec­re­tary for Con­ser­va­tion Agri­cul­ture in the West­ern Cape, Dr Jo­hann Strauss, ex­plains why SA needs the no-till in­ter­ven­tion: “Nearly 80 per cent of West­ern Cape farm­ers hav­ing a no-till ma­chine. Jack Hu­man was the first to start af­ter he lost land to a flood in 1983.

South Africa is a wa­ter-scarce coun­try and there’s lim­ited soil for agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion. The use of no-till helps lower the loss of car­bon and mois­ture from the soil. For ev­ery one per cent of added car­bon to the soil, the wa­ter-hold­ing ca­pac­ity of that soil dou­bles. Mulch not only re­duces soil ero­sion, it re­duces soil tem­per­a­ture by at least 4° C, cre­at­ing bet­ter con­di­tions for these or­gan­isms to thrive.

Con­ser­va­tion agri­cul­ture, which in­cludes no-till, will be the only way we’ll feed hu­man­ity in the fu­ture.”

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