Technologies

Olive groves under no-tillage operations [Greece]

Ακαλλιέργεια (Greek)

technologies_1035 - Greece

Completeness: 78%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Technology

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:

Ioannis Mentzidakis

+30 28210 - 83410

imetzis@nagref-cha.gr

National Agricultural Research Foundation - NAGREF - Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants of Chania

Agrokipio, 73100 Chania, Crete

Greece

Name of project which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
DESIRE (EU-DES!RE)
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
Agricultural University of Athens (AUAb) - Greece
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Technology (if relevant)
National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF) - Greece

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

When were the data compiled (in the field)?

11/05/2011

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:

Yes

1.5 Reference to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Approaches

2. Description of the SLM Technology

2.1 Short description of the Technology

Definition of the Technology:

Olive groves under no tillage and no herbicide application.

2.2 Detailed description of the Technology

Description:

Sustainable farming may include several measures for protecting natural resources. One measure, that of no-tillage, relates to reduced soil erosion. This may have favourable effects on soil aggregation and protection from soil crusting and soil erosion. In a no-tillage system, the residues are concentrated on the surface of the soil, which enhances aggregate stability and protects the soil from erosion.

Purpose of the Technology: Sustainable farming may include several measures for protecting natural resources. One of the applied measures in the context of sustainable farming, related to reduction of soil erosion, is minimum tillage or no tillage operations. No tillage may have favourable effects on soil aggregation and protection of soil crusting and soil erosion. Maximum soil degradation occurs when soil is tilled with a mouldboard plough, followed by disking. In no-tillage system, the residues are concentrated on the surface of the soil enhancing aggregate stability and protecting the soil from erosion.There is no any extra cost for application of the Technology. In the opposite, farm income increases since cost production is decreased without any decrease in olive oil production.

Establishment / maintenance activities and inputs: The most frequently used cover crop is Oxalis pescaprae, a species considered as a weed but with a positive effect on soil and water conservation. It is left to grow during winter to improve water infiltration into the soil and to help prevent soil erosion. Owing to its high sensitivity to drought, Oxalis tends to reach wilting point in late spring due to lack of water in the upper soil layer. Disc-ploughing once every four to five years is necessary to destroy the perennial vegetation and incorporate fertilizers and plant residues into the soil. There is no extra cost involved in applying the technology. In fact, farm income increases, since production costs decrease without any reduction in olive oil production.

Natural / human environment: This practice is common locally and was established 30 years ago by the collaboration of national specialists and land users. It has been applied in a variety of natural and human environmental conditions typical of the Mediterranean region.

2.3 Photos of the Technology

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Technology has been applied and which are covered by this assessment

Country:

Greece

Region/ State/ Province:

Kissamos province

Further specification of location:

Chania-Crete

2.6 Date of implementation

If precise year is not known, indicate approximate date:
  • 10-50 years ago

2.7 Introduction of the Technology

Specify how the Technology was introduced:
  • through land users' innovation

3. Classification of the SLM Technology

3.2 Current land use type(s) where the Technology is applied

Cropland

Cropland

  • Tree and shrub cropping
Main crops (cash and food crops):

Major cash crop: Olives

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

Mixed (crops/ grazing/ trees), incl. agroforestry

  • Agroforestry
Comments:

Major land use problems (compiler’s opinion): high soil erosion rates and a decrease in groundwater recharge

Major land use problems (land users’ perception): increasing production costs when the technique is not applied

Livestock is grazing on crop residues

3.3 Further information about land use

Water supply for the land on which the Technology is applied:
  • mixed rainfed-irrigated
Number of growing seasons per year:
  • 1
Specify:

Longest growing period in days: 150Longest growing period from month to month: November to April

3.4 SLM group to which the Technology belongs

  • improved ground/ vegetation cover
  • minimal soil disturbance
  • integrated pest and disease management (incl. organic agriculture)

3.5 Spread of the Technology

Comments:

Total area covered by the SLM Technology is 532 m2.

3.6 SLM measures comprising the Technology

agronomic measures

agronomic measures

  • A3: Soil surface treatment
management measures

management measures

  • M4: Major change in timing of activities
Comments:

Main measures: agronomic measures

Secondary measures: management measures

Type of agronomic measures: retaining more vegetation cover, mulching, mineral (inorganic) fertilizers, zero tillage / no-till

3.7 Main types of land degradation addressed by the Technology

soil erosion by water

soil erosion by water

  • Wt: loss of topsoil/ surface erosion
Comments:

Main type of degradation addressed: Wt: loss of topsoil / surface erosion

Main causes of degradation: soil management (displacement of soil by ploughing)

Secondary causes of degradation: labour availability

3.8 Prevention, reduction, or restoration of land degradation

Specify the goal of the Technology with regard to land degradation:
  • reduce land degradation
Comments:

Main goals: mitigation / reduction of land degradation

4. Technical specifications, implementation activities, inputs, and costs

4.1 Technical drawing of the Technology

Author:

C. Kosmas

4.2 Technical specifications/ explanations of technical drawing

Olive groves occur widely throughout Crete (Greece). One of the main cultivation practices adopted recently is minimum or no tillage. Under this land management practice, weeds are allowed to grow, covering and protecting the soil surface from raindrop impact. The most widely distributed weed is Oxalis pescaprae, a plant species that has positive effects on soil and water conservation. Oxalis grows during winter improving water infiltration into the soil and helping to prevent soil erosion. Owing to its high sensitivity to drought, Oxalis reaches wilting point during late spring due to a lack of soil water in the upper soil layer. The plant is indigenous to South Africa and highly invasive. The plant has a reputation for being very difficult to eradicate once it has become established. Olive trees, planted close together, partially prevent the growth of understorey vegetation. In the Crete study area, rows of olive trees are spaced at intervals of 8 m and trees are planted 5 m apart in the rows

Location: Voukolies. Chania

Technical knowledge required for field staff / advisors: moderate

Technical knowledge required for land users: low

Main technical functions: control of dispersed runoff: retain / trap

Secondary technical functions: increase of surface roughness

Mulching
Material/ species: oxalis sp

4.4 Establishment activities

Activity Type of measure Timing
1. Removal of weeds if they interfere significantly with the collection of the olive crop Agronomic

4.5 Costs and inputs needed for establishment

Comments:

Duration of establishment phase: 5 month(s)

4.6 Maintenance/ recurrent activities

Activity Type of measure Timing/ frequency
1. no maintenance Agronomic

4.7 Costs and inputs needed for maintenance/ recurrent activities (per year)

Comments:

Machinery/ tools: no machinery needed

4.8 Most important factors affecting the costs

Describe the most determinate factors affecting the costs:

No factors affect costs since Oxalis grows in the area under natural conditions

5. Natural and human environment

5.1 Climate

Annual rainfall
  • < 250 mm
  • 251-500 mm
  • 501-750 mm
  • 751-1,000 mm
  • 1,001-1,500 mm
  • 1,501-2,000 mm
  • 2,001-3,000 mm
  • 3,001-4,000 mm
  • > 4,000 mm
Agro-climatic zone
  • semi-arid

Thermal climate class: temperate

5.2 Topography

Slopes on average:
  • flat (0-2%)
  • gentle (3-5%)
  • moderate (6-10%)
  • rolling (11-15%)
  • hilly (16-30%)
  • steep (31-60%)
  • very steep (>60%)
Landforms:
  • plateau/plains
  • ridges
  • mountain slopes
  • hill slopes
  • footslopes
  • valley floors
Altitudinal zone:
  • 0-100 m a.s.l.
  • 101-500 m a.s.l.
  • 501-1,000 m a.s.l.
  • 1,001-1,500 m a.s.l.
  • 1,501-2,000 m a.s.l.
  • 2,001-2,500 m a.s.l.
  • 2,501-3,000 m a.s.l.
  • 3,001-4,000 m a.s.l.
  • > 4,000 m a.s.l.

5.3 Soils

Soil depth on average:
  • very shallow (0-20 cm)
  • shallow (21-50 cm)
  • moderately deep (51-80 cm)
  • deep (81-120 cm)
  • very deep (> 120 cm)
Soil texture (topsoil):
  • medium (loamy, silty)
  • fine/ heavy (clay)
Topsoil organic matter:
  • medium (1-3%)
  • low (<1%)

5.4 Water availability and quality

Ground water table:

> 50 m

Availability of surface water:

good

Water quality (untreated):

good drinking water

5.5 Biodiversity

Species diversity:
  • high

5.6 Characteristics of land users applying the Technology

Market orientation of production system:
  • mixed (subsistence/ commercial
Off-farm income:
  • less than 10% of all income
Relative level of wealth:
  • average
  • rich
Individuals or groups:
  • individual/ household
Level of mechanization:
  • mechanized/ motorized
Gender:
  • men
Indicate other relevant characteristics of the land users:

Land users applying the Technology are mainly common / average land users

Population density: 10-50 persons/km2

Annual population growth: 1% - 2%

75% of the land users are average wealthy and own 90% of the land.

5.7 Average area of land owned or leased by land users applying the Technology

  • < 0.5 ha
  • 0.5-1 ha
  • 1-2 ha
  • 2-5 ha
  • 5-15 ha
  • 15-50 ha
  • 50-100 ha
  • 100-500 ha
  • 500-1,000 ha
  • 1,000-10,000 ha
  • > 10,000 ha
Is this considered small-, medium- or large-scale (referring to local context)?
  • small-scale

5.8 Land ownership, land use rights, and water use rights

Land ownership:
  • company
  • individual, titled
Land use rights:
  • open access (unorganized)
Water use rights:
  • communal (organized)

5.9 Access to services and infrastructure

health:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
education:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
technical assistance:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
markets:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
roads and transport:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good
financial services:
  • poor
  • moderate
  • good

6. Impacts and concluding statements

6.1 On-site impacts the Technology has shown

Socio-economic impacts

Production

land management

hindered
simplified
Water availability and quality

demand for irrigation water

increased
decreased
Income and costs

farm income

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

2200-2500€/ha

Other socio-economic impacts

Hindered farm operations

decreased
increased

Socio-cultural impacts

conflict mitigation

worsened
improved

Improved livelihoods and human well-being

decreased
increased
Comments/ specify:

Increase in farmers income and reduction the off-site effects

Ecological impacts

Water cycle/ runoff

water quantity

decreased
increased

surface runoff

increased
decreased
Soil

soil moisture

decreased
increased

soil loss

increased
decreased

soil crusting/ sealing

increased
reduced

soil compaction

increased
reduced

6.2 Off-site impacts the Technology has shown

downstream flooding

increased
reduced

groundwater/ river pollution

increased
reduced

6.3 Exposure and sensitivity of the Technology to gradual climate change and climate-related extremes/ disasters (as perceived by land users)

Gradual climate change

Gradual climate change
Season Type of climatic change/ extreme How does the Technology cope with it?
annual temperature increase not known

Climate-related extremes (disasters)

Meteorological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
local rainstorm well
local windstorm not known
Climatological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
drought not known
Hydrological disasters
How does the Technology cope with it?
general (river) flood not known

Other climate-related consequences

Other climate-related consequences
How does the Technology cope with it?
reduced growing period not known
arid climatic conditions not well

6.4 Cost-benefit analysis

How do the benefits compare with the establishment costs (from land users’ perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

positive

How do the benefits compare with the maintenance/ recurrent costs (from land users' perspective)?
Short-term returns:

positive

Long-term returns:

positive

6.5 Adoption of the Technology

If available, quantify (no. of households and/ or area covered):

2650

Of all those who have adopted the Technology, how many have did so spontaneously, i.e. without receiving any material incentives/ payments?
  • 50-90%
Comments:

55% of land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
1850 land user families have adopted the Technology with external material support
100% of land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
800 land user families have adopted the Technology without any external material support
There is a moderate trend towards spontaneous adoption of the Technology

6.7 Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities of the Technology

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
Production costs can be cut, but may create problems for olive harvesting

How can they be sustained / enhanced? the necessity to cut weeds during harvesting
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Technologies for conserving soil and water resources and combating desertification in Crete mainly relate to land management. Olive groves are widespread on the island as a result of the importance of olive oil for everyday cooking. Furthermore, olive groves can survive adverse weather and soil conditions providing a significant income for farmers for a relatively low labour input. Land management practices have been adopted in the area based on tradition and knowledge transfer by local institutes and specialists. No-tillage land management practice with olives can be considered as an important technique to protect against land degradation and desertification and increase farmers’ incomes

How can they be sustained / enhanced? education of farmers

6.8 Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks of the Technology and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the land user’s view How can they be overcome?
The field is ‘clean’ in readiness for harvesting the necessity to cut weeds during harvesting
Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
A slight decrease in water availability for the growing trees no solution to this problem

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