Special Issue "Effects of Conservation Agriculture on Restoring Soil Quality and Crop Yield Performance"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 October 2022) | Viewed by 7498
Interests: adaption to mineral stress; nutrient cycling; rehabilitation of degraded land; conservation agriculture; dryland salinity; catchment hydrology and management; sustainable land use; agricultural research and development
2. Principal Scientific Officer, Soil Unit, Natural Resources Management Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council, Farmgate, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh
3. Senior Scientific Officer, Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Gazipur 1701, Bangladesh
Interests: conservation agriculture; cropping systems; climate change mitigation; life cycle assessment; environmental science; plant nutrition; soil physics; nutrient cycling in intensive cropping agro-ecosystems; carbon sequestration; C and N footprints; critical limits of nutrients for soils and crops; fertiliser rate determination; organic agriculture; heavy metal remediation; agronomic biofortification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Interests: soil carbon behaviour under different ecologies and environment; conservation agriculture; soil chemistry; salt-affected soils
Interests: cropping systems; conservation agriculture; climate change; resilient production systems; sustainable resource management; soil–crop interaction; crop–weed interactions; nitrogen management; weed management; agronomic biofortification
Healthy soil serves as the basis for sustainable agriculture, and for ensuring productivity. To address the challenge of global soil health degradation, conservation agriculture (CA) practices have been put forward to restore major soil functions such as carbon cycling and transformation, nutrient cycling in agroecosystems, and soil structure maintenance. Fitting CA into a diverse crop system around the world has been a challenge since the beginning. To cope with the challenge, novel changes have been made in CA practices. A review of study reports in different parts of the world shows that these novel changes are performing well in terms of yield, economic return, greenhouse gas emission mitigation, biodiversity conservation, soil health improvement, etc. In fact, the practices that are proposed for the development of soil health are the components of the CA system. Accordingly, soil health improvement is an automatic benefit of CA.
CA practices have not yet expanded to many crop systems for a variety of reasons. To expand this sustainable and climate-smart system to more agro-ecological regions, and to ensure food security for a growing population, CA research results on soils, environment, and crops need to be reported to reach users ranging from policy makers to farmers.
However, reports on the use of CA practices on soil physical, chemical, and biological health are insufficient—especially the reports on the use of CA in smallholder farms, intensive cropping (rice-based) systems, upland crops-pasture systems, mixed cropping, relay cropping, intercropping, and hill farming that reflect soil health and yield performance. Besides, most of the practices used for the management of water, crops, and nutrients under CA practices have been brought from conventional agriculture systems, leading to these CA practices (and their modifications) sometimes failing to produce expected results. To ensure future food security and a clean environment, the development of judicious nutrient and water management for CA practices can play a significant role in improving soil health and sustaining crop production.
Novel crop establishment and residue return (other C sources) practices are being developed in order to incorporate CA into diversified cropping systems. Accordingly, the spread and uptake of CA practices have been progressing at an unprecedented scale in recent years. CA systems improve soil health while improving the environment and enhancing ecologically sustainable production conditions for farmers throughout the world. The practices in line with the CA principles (either alone or in combination) help to accumulate carbon and nutrients in the soil by synchronizing nutrient release with crop demand and by slowing the in-season turnover of nutrients when crop demands are low. The practices ensure the effective functioning of the entire agroecology with the utmost focus on soil health improvement, resulting in sustained crop productivity. Nutrient, water, and crop management practices should be developed to fit in with CA practices that may ensure even better soil health and crop yield. Research works are being conducted to establish CA in diversified cropping systems under different agro-ecosystems. The experimental evidence of those CA studies (short-, medium-, or long-term) on soil health and crop production should be communicated to all concerned, from farmers to policymakers.
This Special Issue therefore invites research articles or review papers from integrative studies that assess the overall impact of CA on soil health, environmental remediation, and crop production in diverse cropping systems. The Issue invites manuscripts on the following areas (but is not limited to these):
- Soil health implications of novel crop establishment practices with a focus on optimal crop residue return and intensive cropping systems.
- Mapping of CA practices in different agro-ecosystems according to their suitability.
- Soil properties and crop yield under mechanized crop establishment practices based on CA.
- Soil physical, chemical, and biological properties under CA practices.
- CA and the formation of soil aggregation and humus, leading to soil structural stability, soil porosity, aeration, water infiltration, moisture holding capacity, moisture retention curves, and pore size distribution.
- Development of soil health index under long-term CA practices in different agro-climates.
- CA practices and their impact on reducing soil compactness, root morphology, root density, root distribution, and root penetration in the soil profile.
- Results of long-term CA experiments conducted in intensive cropping systems on soil health and climate change mitigation potential.
- Organic carbon and total nitrogen accumulation in soils under CA practices.
- Life cycle assessment study (footprinting of C and N) of crop production under CA practices.
- Nutrient management practices for crops’ CA practices.
- Soil microbiome and changes in soil biological properties and soil fertility under CA practices in diversified cropping systems.
I look forward to receiving your contributions.
Prof. Dr. Richard W. Bell
Dr. Md. Khairul Alam
Dr. Ashim Datta
Dr. Sharif Ahmed
Manuscript Submission Information
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- carbon and nitrogen sequestration
- chemical health of soils under CA
- conservation agriculture (CA)
- crop establishment
- direct seeding rice
- fertilizer rate determination for CA practices
- intensive cropping systems
- life cycle assessment of CA practices
- minimal disturbance of soil
- non-puddled rice
- nutrient cycling under CA
- physical health under CA
- Soil health under CA