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The impact of plans, policies, practices and technologies based on the principles of conservation agriculture in the control of soil erosion in Brazil
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  • Lucia Dos AnjosOrcid,
  • Renato Rodrigues,
  • Fernando Cesário,
  • Aluisio Andrade,
  • Jefé Ribeiro
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
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Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
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Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
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Lucia Dos Anjos
Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Institute of Agronomy, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
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Renato Rodrigues
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
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Fernando Cesário
Federal Fluminense University
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Aluisio Andrade
Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation
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Jefé Ribeiro
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply
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Peer review status:IN REVISION

17 Apr 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
21 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
21 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
23 Apr 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 May 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Jun 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
01 Jul 20201st Revision Received
06 Jul 2020Assigned to Editor
06 Jul 2020Submission Checks Completed


Land use surveys show 30.5% of Brazil´s territory is dedicated to production of food, fibers, biofuels and raw materials; however, soil erosion is the main agent of land degradation and productivity decreasing. This paper reports the impacts of the adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) principles in controlling soil loss by water erosion, where Zero Tillage (ZT) and integrated Crop-Livestock-Forest (iCLF) management systems are the central policies. Annual soil loss potential, estimated for a scenery lacking CA practices, intensive conventional tillage and monoculture, is of 3.0 billion tons, with 29.5% of losses in croplands and 61.4% in rangelands. The economic impact of soil erosion based only on nutrient losses is estimated in 15.7 billion US dollars. Efforts to control water erosion, intensify agricultural production and mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases are the goal of a recent national governmental program for detailed soil survey and interpretation for land use - PronaSolos. Practices and technologies based on CA, such as ZT and iCLF, already adopted in 44.4 million hectares, with an economic impact of 2.3 billion US dollars, will be recommended to reach 60 million ha by the year 2025. Other benefits are maintenance of rural roads, reduction of soil and water pollution, increase of water quality and storage capacity of reservoirs. The success of the program and current achievements with CA in Brazil result from determination of farmers and many actors involved in controlling soil erosion; as well as plans and policies to implement practices and technologies based on CA principles.