With CA, the soil is supposed to be permanently cover by residues or crops. The no-till planter could minimize the soil disturbance as it just opens enough space in lines for the seeds and fertilizers. The soil is continued to cover till full canopy of the crop unlike being left bared in conventional management.
To enrich soil biodiversity for ecological intensification under CA management, different species with multi-functions of cover crops have been grown with the main crop. For instance, a system of hybrid corn and soybean bi-annual rotation, pigeon pea is associated with the corn and Sorghum and Sunnhemp is relayed with the soybean. Increase types and numbers of soil biota with different roots systems of crops and cover crops efficiently restructure the soil.
From left to right: Sorghum, Soybean, Pigeon pea, and Corn
After practicing hybrid corn and soybean in bi-annual rotation under CA, the soil has impressively improved. There is highly biological activity and humification from different organic matter sources such as corn, sorghum, pigeon pea and soybean. Soil biodiversity is greatly enriched both above and below ground.