Agriculture And Agricultural Organization Of The United Nations ( Fao )

1855 Words Jan 30th, 2015 null Page
INTRODUCTION With over 50% of the global land surface being affected by land use or land cover change over the last few hundred years, mostly from the expansion of agriculture, there has been numerous climatic impacts (Foley, 2005). With such vast areas, specifically of the US Corn Belt, dedicated to agricultural production it is imperative that we as a society approach this endeavor cautiously. One approach to agriculture often cited as having the potential to produce the food, feed, and fiber necessary to sustain us with minimal disturbance to surrounding ecosystems is referred to as conservation agriculture (CA). CA as defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is an approach to farming that “aims to conserve, improve and make more efficient use of natural resources through integrated management of available soil, water, and biological resources combined with external inputs… also referred to as resource effective agriculture” (FAO web site). The central tenet of CA is the combination of year-round soil coverage (cover cropping/mulching) and minimal mechanical disturbance of the soil (no-till/reduced tillage), as well as the use of extensive crop rotations (three crops or greater). Individually these management practices have been shown to provide benefits to soil through enhanced fertility and quality (Snapp et al. 2005; Lal 2004; Reeves 1997), surface and groundwater resources (Hobbs 2007) and climate stabilization through…

Related Documents