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Machinery and Tools of Soil-Protecting Agriculture (Theory and Designing)

A.P. Gribanovsky, R.V. Biddinglinger, A.S. Rzaliev, V.P. Goloborodko

Agricultural production is associated with land degradation and depletion, deforestation, environmental pollution, deterioration of water and air quality, etc.
According to soil scientists of the Moscow State University during the entire period of agricultural activity (about 10 thousand years), the world lost 2 billion hectares of arable land, which is much higher than the presently arable land area of about 1,5 billion hectares. And the intensity of losses increases: 700 million hectares are lost over the past 300 years, with an average annual rate of 2,3 million hectares, and 300 million hectares are lost over the past 50 years with an average annual rate of 6 million hectares. According to modern estimates, approximately 1.2 billion hectares, out of 1,5 billion hectares in the turnover of farmland, are now in a state of degradation.
Such consequences of human agricultural activity are the result of a mismatch between his interests and the "strategy of nature". With the aim of concurrence of human interests with the "strategy of nature" and preserving the invaluable gift of the nature of soil fertility, mankind develops soil protection technologies for cultivating agricultural crops and technical means for the implementation of these technologies in relation to specific soil and climatic conditions. At the same time, the following basic principles are laid down in the basis of the performance of any technological operation in the cultivation of crops in soil conservation agriculture: minimal spraying of the treated soil layer; reduction of airflow velocity in the surface layer; maximum accumulation and rational use of moisture in the soil.
The principles of the soil protection system of agriculture and the specific working conditions of agricultural machinery exclude the possibility of using machinery designed for the classical (dump) farming system. This led to the emergence of a new type of machinery and tools to protect the soil from wind erosion and to combat drought.
The need for intensification of agriculture in hard arid regions, the formation of a system of anti-erosion measures taking into account zonal features, changed energy resources and forms of labor organization predetermine the expediency of developing new or improving existing machinery and tools for soil-protecting agriculture. The construction features of such machinery and tools, their adjustment and operating features are widely covered in the literature. However, to this day there is no generalized material in which the results of the main theoretical and experimental studies that form the basis for the creation of machinery and tools for soil conservation agriculture would be concentrated. Studies are scattered and published in scientific works of many different countries. This complicates work of researchers and designers aimed to improve and create new machinery for soil protection agriculture, hampers training of specialists in higher and secondary educational institutions.
In this book, an attempt is made to systematize the main results of numerous studies that are the basis for creation of machinery and tools for soil-protecting agriculture. In it the following circle of questions is considered: operating conditions of anti-erosion machinery and agrotechnological (initial) requirements to them; the main theoretical and experimental provisions for the selection of rational values for the parameters of operative parts and structural and technological circuits for erosion control machinery and tools for soil cultivation, accumulation and rational use of moisture in soil, intrusion of mineral fertilizers and herbicides,seeding of crops, accumulation of moisture in the soil at the expense of winter precipitation.
The research results presented in the book are used as the basis for the development in the former USSR of a complex of anti-erosion machinery and tools, which were produced in large volumes by the industry. This made possible to apply soil-protective agriculture in the USSR on an area of more than 60 million hectares, incl. in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 22 million hectares.
Currently, the results of these studies are used in the Republic of Kazakhstan in developing of new and improving of existing machinery and tools for soil-protecting agriculture, which predetermines the necessity and expediency of writing of this book.The List of literature at the end of the book does not pretend to give the complete coverage of relevant publications profile and contains only works directly used in the creation of new and improving existing machinery and tools for soil conservation agriculture.