Farmers working group on no-till – Experiences from Latvia

This video presents how reduced tillage methods, like no-till, strip-till, and minimum tillage, were introduced in Latvia. This type of soil cultivation is not yet very common in Latvia due to heavy soils and short growing seasons. Jānis Kažotnieks from the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre motivated a group of farmers to test these soil cultivation methods on their farms. Jānis initiated a farmer working group and provided them with knowledge and hands-on experience. After the initial phase, the farmers became experts and shared insights among themselves. One of the working group members, the farmer Aivars Cimermanis highlights the following success factors for the project:

The timing was right, the farmers were able to compare the new techniques with traditional ones on their own farms, and the format of the working group enabled a trustful learning environment.

The key takeaways of this practical case can be summarized as follows:

1. Training: Provide farmers with info and visits to see reduced tillage success elsewhere.

2. Farmer-Led Approach: Empower farmers to lead change, starting small and to see results.

3. Enabling Environment: Create a collaborative, pressure-free setting for farmers to experiment and learn from each other.

4. Research and Monitoring: Keep tracking the long-term effects of reduced tillage on yields and soil health to offer evidence-based advice.

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