Long Term No-Till Case Study
This family run farm is the pioneer of no-tillage farming in the Parana state in Brazil. The Uemura family started with soybean cultivation applying conventional farming methods. However, they realised that the yield was decreasing due to soil erosion while the cost for agricultural inputs were rising, making farming in there area more unfeasible.
Because of this they decided to implement the no-tillage system in the late of 1970. The initial challenges were based around a lack of the proper equipment, however they were able to reach stable production after the soil biological processes were restored. This farm has implemented EM technology on their farm for the past 3 years with the goal of finding an alternative to fight disease and improve the soil to withstand the variable weather in the region.
Farm Scale: 2000 ha
Products: Wheat, soybeans, beans, corn
Production: Wheat crops average 4.5 tonnes/ha
Workforce: 9 Staff
The major problems on the farm are:
- White mold - most critical disease
- Resistance against herbicides and insecticides which cause a decrease in production and increase costs
- Variable weather including a very dry winter with almost no rain in 2016 followed by extreme rain in 2017
- High expenses in agricultural inputs
- They use EM on rotation crops of wheat, soybean, bean and corn alternating crops per season.
- Usually, they apply EM directly to soil.
- After harvest, they leave crop residues on the land to protect the soil from the rain and then, before planting, they spray EM again to promote decomposition process.
- In order to maximise the effect of EM, the distribute the dosage throughout the crop season in a little and often approach.
- 1st Year: (2015) 80L/ha
- 2nd Year: (2016) 60L/ha
Effects and Results
- During winter of 2016 they did not have much rain so neighboring farmers had production decreases and poor quality crops. However, Mr. Uemura’s wheat had the same production and high quality of previous years
- Mr. Uemura won a competition for best quality wheat in the region.
- Wheat grows homogeneously.
- Better root growth, as a result, improved establishment of plants into the soil, preventing them from getting washed away in rainy season.
- Improved growth has helped plants to be resistant against drought and disease.
- Using EM Technology in soil, promoted soil recovery and loosened soil structure.
- Using EM, grains grow larger, are more densely packed, and heavier, so they are sold at a premium price on the market