Farmer Field School: No-till on irrigated lands

Posted on: 25 July 2019

The fifth training of the Farmer field school held in Kherson oblast was dedicated to the efficiency issue of applying No-till technology on irrigated lands. During the theoretical part, more than fifty participants discussed innovative approaches in conservation agriculture, farming system on non-irrigated and irrigated lands, and the application of various technologies for soil cultivation.

Mykola Malyarchuk, Institute of Irrigated Agriculture, Chief Researcher of Irrigation Agriculture Department, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, and Andriy Shatkovsky, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation of NAAS familiarized the participants with the soil-ecological zones of Ukraine and the most common types of soils in the Kherson Oblast and steppe zone – chestnut solonets soils. Kherson Oblast has a huge desert, which area is spreading over every day. Scientists are convinced that the use of no-till methods provides a positive balance of humus and an ecological and economic effect.

Representatives of the farm “Zorya-Yug” ltd. – director Ruslan Kungurov and agronomist Andriy Kislovskyy shared with participants the practical aspects of applying No-till. Participants had the opportunity to review equipment for sowing and care of sowing, irrigation systems and irrigation management used by the farm. Representatives of “Zorya-Yug” shared their experience and secrets of growing spring crops using No-till technology, which has been practiced for over 8 years. The attendants examined not only corn, soybean and sunflower fields, but also fields after the harvest of early spring cereal crops (winter wheat, winter peas); discussed peculiarities of cultivation, problems, solutions, and results. Besides,  the soil condition, soil moisture and nutrients level were investigated.

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 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.”