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Equipment and technology options for manual and animal traction seeding in Conservation Agriculture By Christian Thierfelder.

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Presentation on theme: "Equipment and technology options for manual and animal traction seeding in Conservation Agriculture By Christian Thierfelder."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equipment and technology options for manual and animal traction seeding in Conservation Agriculture By Christian Thierfelder

2 Contents:  Introduction  Planting Basins  Ripper tine systems  Direct seeding  Conclusion

3 Animal traction systems: Moldboard plowing followed by harrowing and seeding with the hoe (Zimbabwe) Hand-hoe-system: Workload: 140,000 hoe strokes/ha/yr Traditional seeding systems

4 Planting basins  capture run-off; increase infiltration  dug manually with hoes in dry season.  permanent (with some maintenance when required).  Size varies: 30 x 20 x 20 cm 3 to 15 x 15 x 15 cm 3  soil disturbed only in a small area  inputs concentrated in or at the side of the basin.  Some organizations promote micro- dosing in basins Basins, Zimbabwe CFU basins, Zambia

5 Benefits and limitations of basin systems  Benefits:  timely planting possible;  good yields due to input concentration and water harvesting  disturbs soil only in some areas  principles are easy to promote  Limitations:  labour intensive  often not sufficient residues  only an option for manual farmers  unclear if CA is the driver or better land husbandry and nutrient management

6 Typical labour requirements in manual and draft animal system 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Hand hoeLimited DAPFull DAPCA-Basins labour h ha -1 Land preparation PlantingTop DressWeeding 1Weeding 2Harvesting Source: ICRISAT, 2005

7 A pot-holing implement from Zambia… Terry Jones, Farmer & seed grower, Mazabuka, Zambia

8 Tine rippers & sub-soilers Palabana subsoiler Magoye ripper

9 Magoye tine ripper:  more furrow opener than ripper  works at shallow depth  reduced soil disturbance  can be fitted to frame of a mouldboard plough. Palabana sub-soiler:  breaks through hardpans before seeding  Works to a depth of about 20- 25 cm  Requires operation on dry soil or has adverse effect

10 Benefits and limitations of rippers and subsoilers  Benefits:  timely planting possible if animal traction is available  cheap effective replacement of the plough  easy to manage  hardpans can be overcome by sub-soilers  reduction in time & labour compared to the plough.  Limitations:  seeding and fertilization done separately by hand  planting is delayed if oxen are not available  without coulter, residues & mulch get stuck and dragged by the tool

11 Direct seeding CA systems  sow into undisturbed soil without previous land preparation  requires placing seed (and sometimes fertilizer) into soil beneath crop residues or mulch  simultaneous placement of seed & fertilizer possible  manual and animal traction systems available

12 Direct seeding with jab-planter (manual method):  pushes seed through mulch into small planting hole opened by tool  planting stations may change between years; rows can be maintained  can place seed and fertilizer in one action  planting is rapid & timely (0.5 ha/day).  ease of use facilitated by soil softness

13 Opportunities and limitations:  Opportunities:  timely planting possible  very efficient seeding and fertilization  seeding into mulch possible  long term experience from Latin America available  Limitations:  only few machines available yet  seeding depth sometimes a problem (too deep – too shallow)  requires good soft (moist) soil

14 Direct seeding with animal traction  Implement seeds directly into mulch  Coulter cuts mulch and opens rip line  Fertilizer and seed dropped simultaneously  No previous cultivation or preparation required Fitarelli seeder (Brazil)

15 Benefits and limitations of animal traction CA systems  Benefits:  timely planting possible  efficient planting and fertilization  least soil disturbing CA technology  easy to get farmers enthusiastic about CA.  Limitations:  equipment not yet available in southern Africa  residues difficult to cut if wet  seed plates not available for all crops (sunnhemp)  seeding depth difficult to regulate; needs experience (cotton)

16 Use of a 3- nozzle boom Weed wipe in action Herbicide application with a 6- nozzle sprayer Chemical weed control strategies:

17 Conclusions:  Planting without ploughing is possible  Many advantages come from timely and precision planting  CA implements are time saving and very efficient but not enough implements are available yet  Time saving is highest when using direct seeders

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