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Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture course explores alternatives to ploughing in agriculture
by Global Good News staff writer
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1 September 2012
A successful course on Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture, one that has been taught worldwide, explains the problems of modern agriculture, but devotes more time to exploring creative solutions that already exist in the world today.
These practices have been proven through application.
To this end, the second lesson of the course talks about the transformation of modern agriculture from the use of ploughing to an emphasis on no-till.
The initial reaction to no-till agriculture is often the question: Is this possible? Dr Peter Swan, who created the course and has taught it in many countries, explained that it must be possible, because 94% of the world's soils have been degraded, and he attributes this in large part to ploughing.
To illustrate its feasibility, Dr Swan spoke of just one method of no-till. This involves planting a cover crop in the autumn, after the growing season.
Dr Swan explained the process, using a specific farmer in the northeastern United States as an example. The autumn cover crop he plants grows up in the winter and in the spring it is mowed down. The farmer sacrifices this crop to create thick mulch that lies on the earth. Into this, he sows his summer crop, pumpkins.
The cover crop serves a few different functions.
'The autumn cover crop is lying on the ground and preventing any weeds from coming up. It is preventing moisture loss, it is fertilizing the soil, and it is providing a very comfortable environment for the pumpkins to grow perfectly healthy. And that is what [the farmer] gets: a beautiful crop of pumpkins, without ever having to worry about watering or about weeds.'
With this type of agriculture, Dr Swan explained, there is no erosion. It has been done with all major grains, cereals, and vegetables.
'This kind of agriculture gives us great hope that the knowledge is available to have agriculture that does not degenerate the world's soils, but improves the soil every year that we farm like this, and improves it very quickly,' he concluded.
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