Finding a Home for Biodiversity in Intensive Cropping Systems —  Blake Vince

This week, Winnipeg, Man., hosted the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture — a three day event that brought together research and extension staff with farmers and industry to discuss the state of conservation agriculture all over the world.

Conservation agriculture, a combination of zero-tillage, cover crops, extensive crop rotation and more, looks very different from country to country, though the principles and challenges are all very similar. The goal? To improve and maintain soil health to conserve water and nutrients, decrease negative environmental impacts of farming and make farmers more profitable and farms more resilient to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Here at home in Canada, Blake Vince is one farmer embracing the changes required to fit the conservation agriculture model. As a farmer in the deep southwest of Ontario, Vince farms very near to Lake Erie — the source of his own and millions of others drinking water. As a Nuffield Canada scholar, Vince is evaluating the water quality impact of moving no-till, cover crops and added biodiversity into a typical corn/soy/winter wheat rotation.

In this audio interview, Real Agriculture’s editor, Lyndsey Smith, ask Vince about the changes he’s made on his farm, the impetus to change, the timeline for cover crop management and the observations he’s made in benefits and challenges to this new system.

If you can’t see the embedded player, click here.

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