Agricultural practices

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agriculture climat

It is possible to fight the greenhouse effect even as far away as the countryside. Indeed, changing agricultural practices can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by billions of tons. And this can often be done using simple means.

Increasing the carbon storage capacity of soil is the main solution. The variety of crops makes it difficult to suggest a common method, but this can involve restoring degraded soil by regularly spreading a layer of vegetation over it in winter, or protecting soil through reforestation. It can also mean reducing ploughing which affects the quality and quantity of organic matter on the surface. Once again interest is also being shown for an old practice, terra preta (black soil in Portuguese) and bichar, a vegetal coal produced by cooking vegetal waste. Once it is put in soil, it acts as both a filter and a pesticide. It also makes it possible to store CO2.

It is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions directly linked to agriculture by restricting the use of nitrogen fertilizers – the most common source of GEGs, nitrous oxide and NO2. This is possible through the use crop rotation, the use of compost and green non-polluting fertilizers. Combining vegetable crops like clover, lucerne and beans for example, that fix the air’s nitrogen into the soil, with cereal crops, is another solution. Direct emissions of various greenhouse gases – including methane – from animal husbandry can be reduced by changing livestock’s food and by changing how manure and pastures are used.

Similarly, by drying out rice-growing plots of land once or twice a year, methane from rice-growing can be reduced by 80%.

In any case, it is not a matter of high tech or huge projects. Most of these solutions are financially profitable. Man has to change his practices in both towns and the countryside.

Abrams.

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