6th Global Summit on Plant Science
Golestan Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, Iran
Title: Healthy soils with conservation agriculture system
Biography: Mohammad Esmaeil Asadi
Soil is the network of interacting living organisms within the earth's surface layer, which support life above ground – plants and animals, including humans. Soil filters the rainwater and regulates the discharge of excess rainwater, preventing flooding; it is capable of storing large amounts of organic carbon; it buffers against pollutants, including CO2. Many people don’t realize that soil, especially healthy soil, is full of life. Bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites, and fungi are among them. Altogether, their value has been estimated at $1.5 trillion a year worldwide. The healthiest soils are those with a diversity and abundance of life. Farmers who adapted conservation agriculture (CA) approach understand that tillage, the turning of the soil that has been the standard for growing crops for years and years, is disruptive to soil microbes and destructive to the soil system and its very structure. CA farmers grow a diversity of living plants in the soil as much of the time as practical, covering the soil and offering food to soil microbes through living roots. Those soil organisms, in turn, cycle nutrients back to the plant. CA-farming practices that involve minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and the use of crop rotation to simultaneously maintain and boost yields, reduce costs for farmers-especially by saving fuel for the soil tillage-increase soil quality, reduce soil erosion and improve biological activity, all while increasing agricultural productivity, especially by increasing resilience to drought and climate change. Studies show a producer can save at least 30% of water consumption per hectare by changing from conventional tillage to CA. In this paper we will provide some examples and case studies from adoption and practices of CA in developed and developing countries especially Asian countries who got good results in terms of healthy soils.