FAO Farmer Field School: Biodiversity and No-till

Posted on: 19 June 2019

Following up on the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, Ukraine has committed to achieving neutral soil degradation by 2030.

In order to help farmers to stop land degradation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is taking a series of training courses within Farmer Field School. The third training was hosted by “Arkadiya Farm” on June 13 (farm manager – renowned No-Tiller Vadim Drobitko).

During the training “Biodiversity and No-till”, more than 100 participants had the opportunity to inspect the machine park and, on the field, evaluate the use of crop rotation in the No-till system.  The farm has diversified crop rotation, including winter wheat, maize, soybeans, sunflower, mustard, and rapeseeds.

“We are now on the territory of the steppe and forest-steppe, in the area of risky agriculture, where soil degradation is particularly pronounced. The use of No-till has greatly improved the state of the soil and the situation with the spread of biodiversity, because this technology contributes to the formation of stable agrobiocenoses. On the other hand, it should be noted that here it is necessary to choose varieties more carefully, to adjust production technologies and to change the seed rate, as it will be lower than the common in Ukraine, ” said Mykola Kosolap, associate professor at the NUBiP Department of Farming and Herbology.

During the discussion, the participants of the training found that thistle causes minimal damage to no-till soybean and it did not require additional chemical treatment. They put forward the theory that at No-till the soil’s temperature is lower, and the spread of the pest is slower than with traditional treatment when the soil temperature rises to 40-45 degrees.

In general, FAO will conduct ten training to help farmers stop land degradation in Ukraine. The training courses devoted to spring sowing campaign, biodiversity, irrigation, soil cultivation methods, rehabilitation of shelterbelts, and economic aspects of the conservation agriculture technologies.

The next training “Conservation agriculture in the forest-steppe zone” will be held on June 20 in the Kyiv oblast at the research sites of the L. Pogorilyy UkrNDIPVT during the exhibition “International Field Days Ukraine 2019”. Registration: http://bit.ly/FFS-4.

The training courses are being held under the framework of the FAO project Integrated Natural Resources Management in Degraded Landscapes in the Forest-Steppe and Steppe Zones of Ukraine, funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Activities under this four-year FAO project relate to broader global efforts as they contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 for “life on land.”

More: https://healthy-soils.org.ua/en/farmer-field-school/