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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PEST BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE Title: Converting Abandoned Lands to Cropland

Author
item Anderson, Randal

Submitted to: Agrokultura
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Citation: Anderson, R.L. 2006. Converting abandoned lands to cropland. Agrokultura. 1:147-150.

Interpretive Summary: In the early 1990s, extensive cropland in the former Soviet Union was abandoned during the transition from centrally-planned production to a market-driven economy. These abandoned lands are now heavily infested with perennial weeds. However, not tilling these lands has allowed natural soil genesis to occur. To help producers preserve the benefits gained with soil structure, a procedure was developed that consists of a series of steps in planning no-till conversion of these lands to cropland. The procedure is based on ecological characteristics of perennial weeds as well as competitive crop sequencing; the procedure encourages a 3- to 5-year planning outlook. To demonstrate use of this procedure, two examples of possible management plans are described.

Technical Abstract: Because of economic conditions, areas of cropland in Ukraine have been left unused for several years. These abandoned lands are now infested with perennial weeds. Producers are interested in converting these lands back to cropland with no-till systems to preserve soil benefits gained by not tilling during this interval. This paper describes a planning procedure that integrates ecological aspects of perennial weed growth with systemic herbicide applications and crop sequencing. The procedure consists of a series of steps, based on experiences in North America. Steps include identifying species composition of the weed community, relating management tactics to carbohydrate movement to storage organs, planning the first year to emphasize intensive control efforts, and developing competitive crop sequences. To demonstrate this procedure, we describe two examples of possible management plans. Producers can convert abandoned lands to cropland with no-till if management is based on ecological aspects of perennial weed growth.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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