The German Agricultural Center believes that agriculture should get back to its roots; we should remember the importance of natural sources of plant nutrition, and be careful with the soil, reducing the use of mineral fertilizers to a minimum. That is why the two-day seminar organized by the center was dedicated to the topic of soil health and protection and increasing soil fertility, World of NAN reports.
Online course on crop production was conducted jointly with the Association for the Sustainable Development of Modern Agricultural Methods and Technologies in Kazakhstan and gathered a wide audience - heads of enterprises, agronomists-fielders, brigadiers, teachers of special disciplines of educational institutions, undergraduates.
The main speaker of the event was Terry Moyer, a permanent expert of the German Agricultural Center from Canada, a senior agronomist. In tandem with the expert worked Madina Brimzhanova, trainer from German Agricultural Center and Association for the Sustainable Development of Modern Agricultural Methods and Technologies in Kazakhstan, Director of LLP "Innovatsionnyi progres" (Kostanai).
The workshop consisted of two modules - "Soil Health" and "Cover Crops". The module "Soil Health" was aimed at maximum disclosure of the soil health topic. Terry Moyer talked about the biological and chemical properties of soil and ways to strengthen it.
"Soil is a finite and vulnerable resource, so it requires special care from those who use it," the expert said, addressing the audience. Speaking about the functions of soil in the biological chain, the speaker named its primary function as retention of nutrients and filtration of pollutants.
Terry Moyer also focused on the factors affecting crop yields related to soil: nitrogen levels, herbicides, and soil treatment methods. The expert stressed that some soil properties can be improved by proper farming practices.
He also presented the participants with tests, special procedures to assess soil health. He also talked about soil microorganisms and their role in the soil system.
In the second module the foreign expert spoke about cover crops and purposes of their application. As Terry Moyer noted, cover crops are excellent for many purposes. They are used to reduce soil erosion, besides they can influence soil fertility. For example, cover crops fix their own nitrogen and can be used for the next crop when sowing soybeans, peas, alfalfa, noted the speaker.
The indisputable advantage of cover crops, Terry Moyer called their use as forage in contingency situations. According to the specialist, in emergency situations, such as drought or frost, such crops as sorghum and millet can be a good fodder for livestock.
The participants of the seminar also received information on the conditions and methods of sowing cover crops and their types. From his personal experience, the speaker spoke about the advantages of growing certain cover crops and reducing pest populations, which bring certain difficulties to farmers.
"Soil is a living, dynamic and ever-changing ecosystem that requires a fuller assessment of condition, taking into account the microbiological components. Therefore, if we want to get a good harvest from the land as a blessing, we must first of all take care of its soil", summarized his speech, the expert.
The seminar continued with the traditional question-and-answer format. World of NAN journalists are now working on interviews with the speakers. Follow the news to get even more information and not to miss a comment from the expert.