Perrotis College has started sowing corn using a special machine for no-till cultivation of the soil for experimental purpose. The machine belongs to the University of Thessaly, with which Perrotis College is collaborating on this project. The sowing took place in the presence of students of the Vocational High School and students of the Perrotis Junior College.
The model of no-till cultivation has entered the research "microscope" of the two institutions, which are implementing a three-year pilot program, starting this year, to measure its advantages and disadvantages in normal cultivation conditions. With this method, the soil is not transplanted and in plow crops, instead, the only intervention is the opening of the groove for the placement of the seed. For sowing, special machines place and cover the seeds through plant debris.It can also be applied to tree crops and vineyards. It is the method that best meets the characteristics of conservation agriculture, offering the maximum potential for soil fertility maintenance.
According to experts, the method reduces soil erosion; improves soil structure and natural features; increases soil biodiversity; contributes to reducing the effects of climate change; reduces water pollution and the impact of extreme weather phenomena. In terms of economic benefits, the method reduces energy consumption and fertilization costs, while it increases the gross income.
The field where the experiment is being conducted is located on the AFS campus and according to Perrotis College Professor Christos Vassilikiotis, the first phase of the experiment began last December when a section of the field was covered with ground cover plants in three different combinations and one was left empty, while a few days before that the second phase was activated with the use of special sowing for corn no-till cultivation. As Dr. Vasilikiotis said, 30% of the crops are cultivated through this method in the U.S., but it is not used in Greece and the E.U. yet.