Without chemicals, there are good yields

Without chemicals, there are good yields

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By Jose Bonetto

As of last winter, INTA Marcos Juárez began to test productive alternatives without the use of agrochemicals for peri-urban fields, which are those borders to the towns.

For this I implement an agricultural production module restricted to the use of 100% chemical synthesis products.

The objective of this module is to search for socio-economic, ecological and technologically viable alternatives for these productive environments.

At the moment, the traditional crops for the area were carried out: corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum and alfalfa for rolls and bales, with acceptable results and, in addition, tests were carried out with alternative crops, such as peas.

In a system without the use of agrochemicals, the greatest problem that arises is the control of weeds since there are no herbicides available for the controls. In its replacement, mechanical controls are made with a double action disc harrow, rollers to remove lumps and rotary harrows to carry out early weeding.

Another cultural practice to compete with weeds is the sowing of cover crops, in this case, Vicia villosa was implanted, a species that is very competitive with weeds.

With a rainfall regime of 900 millimeters, like the one in the Marcos Juárez area, this legume can produce up to 8,000 kg of dry matter per hectare.

In the winter of 2013, the first of the experiments, a wheat was sown, for this they did not apply chemical fertilizers and the weeds were controlled with a double action harrow. With a good development and without notable sanitary problems, 18 qq / ha were harvested, on average. This grain has the plus of being produced without agrochemicals, for which it can be obtained up to a 30% to 50% surcharge.

Also during the winter peas were planted. In this case, the experience was not so good due to the strong pressure of weeds and aphids, which were successfully controlled by the beneficial insects.

For the summer, the crop sequence continued with alfalfa, first soybeans (one earlier and one later) and a double crop sorghum graniferous / Vicia villosa.

The crop that best has been competing with summer weeds, so far, is grain sorghum.

In the case of early plantings, a strong hail, when they closed the gap, caused a delay in their cycle and a fine-leaved weed invaded the crop. Likewise, 20 qq / ha were harvested.

In the case of late soybeans, planted in December, there was a strong presence of the entire group of defoliator caterpillars, cutters and also bedbugs. For its control, diatomaceous earth was applied and the product was very effective in controlling the early stages. In this case, 27qq / ha were harvested. As with wheat, non-GMO soy is a product with a differential price for both product quality and as seed.

The maize that was planted was a non-genetically modified hybrid, sown late, on Vicia villosa stubble.

Due to various practical issues, its yield had to be estimated and it yielded approximately 100 qq / ha, without considering the fallen plants in the count.

By way of conclusion, I consider that conflict situations in peri-urban environments, regarding agricultural production, would have a possible solution with organic and agro-ecological productive approaches.

In these cases, the use of specific soil microorganisms, seed inoculants, biological seed cure or diatomaceous earth, are some of the tools available and allowed. Furthermore, they have the advantage that they are applied with the equipment known to the producer. However, attention must be paid to the moment of application.

In the case of applying microorganisms, such as Bt, for example, it should be sprayed in hours of low light intensity since they are photolabile and also when the target larvae of the application are in primary stages.

Editor's Note: Jose Bonetto, the author, is an agronomist at INTA Marcos Juárez.

Campoamor Hnos.

Video: Percent Yield in Chemical Reactions - Chemistry Tutor (June 2022).


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