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Slash/Mulch Systems

By H. David Thurston
ISBN: 9781853393402
This analysis of slash/mulch practices from around the world shows that they have generally shortened the necessary fallow periods and have restored degraded soils, thus increasing or stabilizing yields; allowing small-scale, resource-poor farmers to compete more effectively and enabling subsistence farmers to achieve food security.

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  • Synopsis
    This informative overview and analysis of slash/mulch practices from around the world, particularly from the tropics, shows that they have generally shortened the necessary fallow periods and have restored degraded soils, thus increasing or stabilizing yields. These improvements, in turn, have allowed small-scale, resource-poor farmers to compete more effectively with larger commercial farmers and have enabled subsistence farmers to achieve food security.
  • Table of Contents
    List of Tables and Figures
    Preface
    Acknowledgments
    1 Introduction
    Traditional Farming Practices, 4
    Environmental Problems, 6
    Quality of Life in Developing Countries, 9
    Shifting Cultivation Systems, 10
    2 Mulching
    Terms Used Relative to Mulching, 19
    Materials Used as Mulches, 21
    Mulching Practices and Soil Erosion, 22
    Positive Effects of Mulches, 25
    Negative Effects of Mulches, 27
    Incorporation Versus Mulching, 28
    3 SlashlMulch Systems in the Americas 31
    Slash/Mulch Systems Described by Spanish Chroniclers, 31
    Slash/Mulch Systems of the Pacific Coasts of South and
    North America, 32
    Slash/Mulch Systems of the Amazon Basin, 39
    A Slash/Mulch System on Riverbanks in Belize, 43
    Frijol Tapado (Covered Beans) Systems, 44
    Maiz Tapado System in Costa Rica, 62
    Slash/Mulch Maize and Sorghum Systems in Honduras, 64
    Yucath Jack Bean and Other Mexican Slash/Mulch Systems, 67
    Slash/Mulch Systems Used to Establish Banana Plantations, 68
    Kudzu System in Peru, 70
    Hairy Vetch/Tomato System, 71
    4 SlashIMulch Systems of Africa
    Slash/Mulch Systems in Cameroon, 73
    Bahuku Slash/Mulch System in Zaire, 76
    Majangir Slash/Mulch System in Ethiopia, 76
    Tanzania Sunhemp System, 77
    Conclusions, 78
    5 SlashIMulch Systems of Asia and the Pacific Islands
    Slash/Mulch Systems on Mentawai, Indonesia, 79
    Swamp Rice System in West Kalirnantan, Indonesia, 81
    Indonesian Mulch-Rotation System, 82
    Slash/Mulch Systems of Papua New Guinea, 82
    Southwest Pacific Slash/Mulch Systems, 84
    Conclusions, 84
    6 SlashIMulch Systems That Also Include Burning
    Combined Slash/Mulch and Slash-and-Bum Practices
    in Panama, 87
    Combined Slash/Mulch and Slash-and-Bum Practices
    in the Amazon, 88
    "Bumt Earth in Sarawak, 89
    Eupatorium Inulifolium System in Sumatra, 90
    The Marcefio or Popal System in Mexico, 94
    Sierra Leone Coppicing System, 95
    Tembe-Thonga Slash/Mulch System in South Africa, 96
    The Kru Slash/Mulch System of West Africa, 97
    The Mountain Ok Taro System of Central New Guinea, 97
    Conclusions, 98
    7 Breeding Crops for Traditional SlashIMulch Systems
    8 Cover Crops and Green Manure Crops
    Cover Crops and Green Manures Used
    in Developing Countries, 105
    Advantages/Disadvantages of Cover Crop/Green Manure
    Systems, 107
    Velvetbean Slash/Mulch Systems, 110
    Lupine as a Slashed Green Manure in the High Andes, 125
    Conclusions, 126
    9 Systems Using Slashed (Pollard,
    Pruned, or Coppiced) Shrubs or Trees
    Alley Cropping Systems, 128
    Costa Rican Erythrina/Coffee Systems, 142
    Other Uses of Eythrina in Agricultural Systems, 144
    Sudanese Acacia Coppicing System, 144
    Tanzanian "Fodder Tree" Coppicing System, 144
    Guatemalan Sauco Coppicing Systems, 145
    Conclusions, 145
    10 Effects of Organic Mulches, Soil Amendments, and
    Cover Crops on Soil-Borne Plant Pathogens and Their
    Root Diseases, H. David Thurston and George Abawi 147
    Organic Matter and the Incidence and Severity of
    Root Diseases, 149
    Mechanisms of Suppression of Soil-borne Pathogens
    by Organic Matter, 152
    Germination/Lysis Phenomenon of Propagules of
    Plant Pathogens, 153
    Competition for Nutrients, 154
    Production of Volatile and Non-Volatile Toxic Compounds, 154
    Modification of the Soil Environment, 155
    Interference with Inoculum Dissemination, 155
    Stimulation of Specific Antagonistic, Parasitic, or Predacious
    Biological Control Agents, 155
    Conclusions and Future Research Needs, 156
    11 Recommendations
    Bibliography
    General lndex
    About the Book and Author
  • Details
    Sub Title No
    Author H. David Thurston
    Editor No
    Number of Pages 216
    Format Paperback / softback