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When it comes to confirming the benefits of a dynamic no-till system, Roberto Peiretti has had the benefit of 40 years of experience honing his approach in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
A founding member of the Argentinian no-till farmers association, AAPRESID, Peiretti says cover crops are an important part of his system.
“Farming realities and facts have convinced me that including and intensifying the use of cover crops in a no-till system significantly improves agroecosystem functioning and farming results — not only in the short term but also for the medium and long range.”
While he stresses the “recipe” for no-till and cover crop success may be different from one from to the next, Peiretti says there are several principles that help lead to maximizing their use.
1. Follow the three essential pillars of a no-till system:
2. Learn to understand the synergies between carbon and soil physical, chemical and biological characteristics. “Carbon is the frame and the fuel of every living thing,” Peiretti says, adding that soil physical factors such as porosity and color are enhanced by biological components like earthworms.
3. A well-designed cover…