Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

Acronyms and abbreviations

CHAPTER 1
Introduction

Conservation agriculture in the Brazilian tropics
Background
The Cerrado biome
The Amazon biome
History of zero tillage in the tropical zones of Brazil
Conservation agriculture
How does conservation agriculture work?
Integrated crop–livestock systems with zero tillage
Dissemination of ICLZT technology

CHAPTER 2

Livestock and annual crop production in wet-dry and humid-tropical Brazil

Livestock type
Herd size and performance
Background for ICLZT

The process of pasture degradation

CHAPTER 3

Principal integrated zero tillage crop–livestock systems

General considerations

Systems typology
Common rotations
Crop successions used as building blocks for rotations

Summaries of the ten main ICLZT technologies

1. Crop establishment in degraded pastures
2. Establishing pasture in annual crops
3. Sowing pasture after early harvest
4. Grass oversown in soybeans or maize
5. Grass regenerating during the first crop after ZT planting of a crop in old pasture
6. Planting forages on crop land for silage, green chop, dry season grazing or as a cover crop
7. Pasture renovation with forages sown jointly with grasses, for early grazing
8. Pigeon pea sown into existing pasture to improve winter grazing quality
9. Sowing perennial legumes into maize
10. Sowing soybeans in a permanent grass sward

Opportunistic grazing of stubble in the dry season

Pigeon pea undersown in maize for stubble grazing
Grazing stubble in the dry season

Pasture grasses

Cover crops for grazing

Cut forage and silage crops
Pasture and grazing management

Legumes in pastures

CHAPTER 4

Mechanized operations in zero tillage and soil fertility management
 
Residue management
Spraying desiccants and other chemicals
Planting and drilling
Soil fertility considerations

CHAPTER 5

Technical and financial analysis of integrated crop–livestock zero tillage
rotations

Case Study 1 – A farm history of the adoption of CA with ZT

Without project
With ICLZT
Irrigated crop management – with and without project
Analysis of the Model Results

Case studies of other ICLZT technologies

Conclusions from the case studies

CHAPTER 6

Sustainable agriculture and policy considerations

Farm-based economic benefits of CA, ZT and ICLZT
Farm-based environmental benefits of CA, ZT and ICLZT
Social benefits of ICLZT and increased land use intensity
Social support for conversion investments in ICLZT

Addressing the conversion needs of small farmers

Conclusion and policy recommendations

Policy recommendations for promoting ICLZT in tropical and subtropical regions

REFERENCES