Conservation Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture is a farming system that promotes minimum soil disturbance (i.e. no tillage), maintenance of a permanent soil cover, and diversification of plant species. It enhances biodiversity and natural biological processes above and below the ground surface, which contribute to increased water and nutrient use efficiency and to improved and sustained crop production.

Three principles of Conservation Agriculture:

Minimum mechanical soil disturbance

(i.e. no tillage) through direct seed and/or fertilizer placement.

Permanent soil organic cover

(at least 30 percent) with crop residues and/or cover crops.

Species diversification

through varied crop sequences and associations involving at least three different crops.