Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 22 - EPAMIG - Experimental Station

In the afternoon, I visited with Maria and Octavia at the Experimental Station. They are working on many projects with breeding and genetics. However, the project I have continued to hear about during my travels is their work around restoring degraded lands. They have created a multi planting system to restore degraded pasture land. The process is to take the poor land, plant eucalyptus in set spacing, then in year one plant either corn or millet. The corn can be used in its state or for silage to feed the cattle. Eucalyptus grows very quickly and provides a shading for the plantings. In year 6, the trees can also be forested and they will grow back! When the corn is harvested or silaged, the area can be replanted will millet for small animal grazing. There is no tillage which allows for nutrient maintenance and reduced soil erosion. Tomorrow is their field day - when researchers from other countries will visit about implementing a similar system. The project is only a few years old but has had great success especially for small farmers who were loosing pasture lands for their animals.

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