Special Issue "Conservation Agriculture"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Yash Dang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Queensland, Australia
Interests: soil constraints; plant nutrition; conservation agriculture; remote sensing; precision agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Conservation agriculture (CA) is an agro-ecological approach that aims to achieve sustainable and profitable intensification of agricultural systems through the application of three inter-linked principles, based on locally-formulated practices: Minimal soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and crop rotations. The adoption of CA farming systems have demostrated tangible advantages in economics, environmental and soil quality aspects over conventional farming systems. CA holds tremendous potential for all sizes of farms and agro-ecological systems.

This Special Issue intends to cover recent progress in different aspects related to the implementation of CA in a wide range of cropping systems across different agro-ecologies.

Dr. Yash Dang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • No-tillage
  • Crop residue management
  • Crop rotation
  • Productivity and profitability
  • Soil health
  • Environmental impacts

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Impact of a Cultivation System upon the Weed Seedbank Size and Composition in a Mediterranean Environment
Agriculture 2019, 9(9), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9090192 - 05 Sep 2019
Abstract
The knowledge of the soil seedbank is crucial to predict the dynamics of weed communities and potential future problems in agroecosystem weed management. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative variation of the potential and real weed [...] Read more.
The knowledge of the soil seedbank is crucial to predict the dynamics of weed communities and potential future problems in agroecosystem weed management. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the qualitative and quantitative variation of the potential and real weed flora as a function of different cultivation systems (namely organic, conventional and uncultivated) in a Mediterranean environment (Sicily, south Italy). The results proved that soil seedbank density was significantly different in superficial (0–10 cm) and deeper soil layers (10–15 cm) in both organic and conventional cultivation systems. Portulacaceae and Amaranthaceae were the dominant botanical families, although they achieved a higher total number of seeds m−2 under a conventional cultivation system than under organic and uncultivated ones. The whole weed flora was represented by 45 taxa, but the presence of the crop reduced the qualitative and quantitative composition of real weed flora. In conclusion, the knowledge of the seedbank size and composition, as well as the variation in time and space of real flora, may contribute to predict the dynamics of weed emergence and their possible interference with crops. In particular, information on the weed dynamics is essential to develop sustainable control protocols, especially under organic farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Conservation Adoption Among Owners and Tenant Farmers in the Southern United States
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030053 - 12 Mar 2019
Abstract
This study investigates owner and tenant characteristics and differences between these two groups in their participation in federal conservation initiatives. Bivariate probit model analysis, based on a 2016–2017 Louisiana row-crop producer’s survey show that owners, relative to tenant farmers, are more likely to [...] Read more.
This study investigates owner and tenant characteristics and differences between these two groups in their participation in federal conservation initiatives. Bivariate probit model analysis, based on a 2016–2017 Louisiana row-crop producer’s survey show that owners, relative to tenant farmers, are more likely to adopt conservation in early years of ownership. The results emphasize the need for mechanisms for tenants in short-term contracts to invest in long-term conservation. Moreover, conservation initiatives should be tailored, as tenant farmers are increasingly farming more land and policies should carefully account for this growing group of farmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Agriculture)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Conservation Agriculture for Rice-Based Intensive Cropping by Smallholders in the Eastern Gangetic Plain
Agriculture 2019, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9010005 - 22 Dec 2018
Abstract
We review the recent development of Conservation Agriculture (CA) for rice-based smallholder farms in the Eastern Gangetic Plain (EGP) and the underpinning research on agronomy, weed control, soil properties and greenhouse gas emissions being tested to accelerate its adoption in Bangladesh. The studies [...] Read more.
We review the recent development of Conservation Agriculture (CA) for rice-based smallholder farms in the Eastern Gangetic Plain (EGP) and the underpinning research on agronomy, weed control, soil properties and greenhouse gas emissions being tested to accelerate its adoption in Bangladesh. The studies are based mostly on minimum soil disturbance planting in strip planting (SP) mode, using the Versatile Multi-crop Planter (VMP), powered by a two-wheel tractor (2WT). One-pass SP with the VMP decreased fuel costs for crop establishment by up to 85% and labour requirements by up to 50%. We developed strip-based non-puddled rice (Oryza sativa) transplanting (NPT) in minimally-disturbed soil and found that rice grain yield increased (by up to 12%) in longer-term practice of CA. On farms, 75% of NPT crops increased gross margin. For non-rice crops, relative yield increases ranged from 28% for lentil (Lens culinaris) to 6% for wheat (Triticum aestivum) on farms that adopted CA planting. Equivalent profit increases were from 47% for lentil to 560% for mustard (Brassica juncea). Moreover, VMP and CA adopting farms saved 34% of labour costs and lowered total cost by up to 10% for production of lentil, mustard, maize (Zea mays) and wheat. Effective weed control was obtained from the use of a range of pre-emergent and post-emergence herbicides and retention of increased crop residue. In summary, a substantial body of research has demonstrated the benefits of CA and mechanized planting for cost savings, yield increases in many cases, increased profit in most cases and substantial labour saving. Improvement in soil quality has been demonstrated in long-term experiments together with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Agriculture)
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