Reducing the negative impact of soil erosion in the Belgorod region through adaptive landscape farming system

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In the Russian Federation, solving problems of land use, land relations, and land policy leave the basis for social, environmental, economic, and overall political stability of the state. The area of the Belgorod region is 2713.4 thousand hectares, including arable land - 1654.4 thousand hectares (61 %), pastures - 347.6 thousand hectares (12.8 %), hayfield - 68.1 thousand hectares (2.5 %), forests and other lands - 316.5 thousand hectares (22.7 %). The area of eroded soils is 53.6 % of the entire territory of the region. They include: slightly washed out soils - about 35 %, moderate washed out soils - about 13 %, strongly washed out soils - 5.6 %, and flushed - about 1 %. According to Belgorod agrarian scientific center of the RAS area of eroded lands in the Belgorod region has increased in the Western natural-agricultural zone - by 5.1 %, in the Central - by 8.4 % and in the South-East - by 9.1 % over the last 30…40 years. Currently, the concept of adaptive landscape farming has been developed, which provides for comprehensive measures to prevent soil degradation and create environmentally sustainable agricultural landscapes. Adaptive landscape soil protection system of agriculture provides for expansion of perennial grasses up to 25 %, introduction of leguminous crops and annual grasses in crop rotations. With a reduction in the use of mineral and organic fertilizers in modern economic conditions, it is impossible to achieve a balance of humus acceptable for sustainable development of the studied agricultural landscape. System of agriculture adapted to local landscapes provides for introduction of the whole complex of soil conservation measures which can stop land degradation caused by soil erosion. Introduction of adaptive landscape system of agriculture in the pilot farm of the Belgorod agricultural research center allowed to minimize erosion processes, stabilize soil fertility, and significantly improve economic indicators and energy efficiency of agriculture in the economy. The area of arable land was slightly reduced, and the area of forest belts and soil protection crop rotations increased. The average yield of grain crops and sugar beets increased greatly, the use of organic and mineral fertilizers increased significantly, their payback improved, and the crop industry became profitable and cost-effective. Only through adaptive landscape agriculture it is possible to stop water erosion, create conditions for stabilizing and increasing soil fertility, ensure the biologization of agriculture and increase its economic efficiency. Ultimately, this will increase production of domestic agricultural products and increase Russia’s food security.

About the authors

Igor E. Soldat

Belgorod Federal Agrarian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, senior researcher, laboratory of Adaptive Crop Production and Agroecology

Belgorod, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Soldat I.E.

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