Monday, 15 September 2008

Zero Tillage Farming

Two farms on Farm Blogs from Around the World that I know of are 'zero tillage farmers', Morenvale in Australia and Food, Fun and Farm Life in East Africa.

Not knowing much about this, I asked Lynda at Food, Fun and Farm Life in East Africa if she could drop me a line about this.

"Zero Tillage," Lynda wrote back, "basically means planting your crop without any form of cultivation whatsoever –you plant directly in to the earth/untouched residue plant matter (organic matter) left over from the previous season. This in turn conserves soil moisture and also allows the natural organisms in the soil to function and the soil eventually returns to a more “natural” state, which also sees a reduction in things like soil compaction.It can be likened – in it’s simplest form - to mulching your garden flowerbeds, but only on a much bigger scale!"

A Zero Tillage Planter in action

"My husband first tried Minimum Tillage farming in 2006 and quickly switched over to Zero Tillage farming as he found it to be the most effective of the two methods for him personally. He has found it to increase his yields and decrease his operating costs, when compared to “conventional” planting which involves cultivation of the soil beforehand."

A field of wheat just planted using the Zero Tillage method

There is more information on Zero Tillage, and how Lynda's husband was amongst the first farmers in Tanzania to practice Zero Tillage (also referred to as Zero Til), at Food, Fun and Farm Life in East Africa.

My thanks to Lynda at Food, Fun and Farm Life in East Africa.

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