Keywords: soil cultivation techniques, crop establishment efficiency, soil structure, nutrient planning, energy use.
The management of soil and crop establishment techniques is fundamental to successful and economically viable cropping. This paper examines the impact of different techniques on a range of important practical, economic, agronomic and environmental factors which interact and consequently require a knowledge intensive, integrated approach. Reducing the intensity of soil cultivation is beneficial to soil structure, erosion and nutrient loss as well as providing an advantageous habitat for soil organisms and farmland birds. Energy usage is also reduced. As conflicts arise between the need to increase yields, conserve nutrients, energy and wildlife, farmers will increasingly need to rely on their ability to balance multiple objectives.
Alastair Leake PhD., The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Allerton Project, Loddington House, Main Street, Loddington, Leicestershire LE7 9XE, UK.
14 pages, 5 figures, 4 tables, 8 references.