Chinese no-till research team studies no-till, develops prototype equipment

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The conservation tillage research team has been studying no-till and other conservation tillage methods on Chinese land for decades. The team’s work has led to the publication of more than 200 articles and the development of more than 30 equipment prototypes.

The Department of AAgricultural mechanization in the former Beijing Agricultural Engineering University founded the Conservation Tillage Research Team in 1991. In May 1999, the Ministry of Agriculture founded the Soil Conservation Research Center (CTRC) at China Agricultural University (CAU).

In 2019 and 2022, China Institute for Conservation Tillage of CAU and Key Laboratory of Agricultural Equipment for Conservation Tillage were established. Hongwen Li is the head of the CTRC. He has over 20 years of expertise in agricultural machinery and equipment for conservation agriculture.

Since its establishment, the CTRC has obtained more than 100 patents on conservation tillage equipment and published more than 200 articles, including more than 60 in English. One of the center’s papers, “Improving China’s food and environmental security through conservation agriculture,” was recognized as one of the world’s 15 most important research papers in conservation agriculture (CA ) by no-till farmer in 2021.

CTRC has also developed more than 30 prototype soil conservation machines, most of which have become commercial machines in China. In addition, the center has received 12 awards and honors from countries, ministries and provinces in China, including 4 national awards for conservation tillage technology and equipment research in dryland agriculture (2002) ; key technology and equipment for no-till wheat sowing in two crops per year in northern China (2009); soil conservation technology (2013); key technology and equipment for high-speed precision sowing with less tillage or no tillage for maize in northern China (2019).

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An information revolution is needed to promote no-till globally: Global adoption of no-till will require a shift in mindset and a localized approach.

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