Brazil - Tocantins

Operational Implementation Plans

Aim: Support the Brazilian Low Carbon Agriculture Program (ABC Program)

  • Cropland
  • Crop types
  • Agricultural systems & level of intensification : crop livestock forest integration; crop rotation; cropping patterns; agroforestry systems

Main agricultural systems:

Double cropping system of summer soybean monoculture (mostly no-tillage or minority with conventional tillage), usually with a cereal crop (corn, millet or sorghum) at the end of the same season; 634 800 hectares for the whole state of Tocantins.
Sugarcane crop (burning and/or mechanized harvesting); 31 150 hectares for the whole state of Tocantins.
Pasture/livestock, mostly livestock on planted pasture (extensive production); different pasture conditions (good to degraded); integrated crop-livestock systems (only present in some farms but the adoption of these systems tends to grow in the region).

Crop Conditions/Stress:

Despite the regional climate having a pronounced dry season, the annual grain-crops cultivation is carried out in the rainy season, so there are no pronounced water stress events during the growing season of this type of crops. However, if there is any irregularity in rainfall, especially at the end of the rainy season (which is locally called "veranico"), there may be some level of water stress on non-irrigated crops, especially in areas where soils have sandy textures, such as Entisols, which are excessively or strongly drained.
Long-cycle crops, such as sugarcane, may be affected by different levels of water stress, depending on the conditions of culture, soil types and phenological stage. As for pastures, a strong decrease in biomass production during the dry season is frequently observed as a result of water scarcity conditions. Phytopathological damage and plant stress occur sporadically on localized areas.

Soil Moisture:

Besides depressed areas (flood plains) with hydromorphic soils (soils saturated with water most of the year), most of the regional soils are well drained. The amount of soil moisture retention therefore depends on the mulch management and, significantly, on the texture of the soil (soil moisture retention being proportional to the amount of clay in the soil).

Crop Residue, Tillage and Crop Cover Mapping:

Most of the area has adopted no-tillage/zero tillage systems. This technology consists in sowing directly on the straw-mulch of previous crop residues. Typically, in the double cropping system, soybean is sown directly over the second crop’s (cereal) residues, and in some cases the straw of desiccated grass (Brachiaria is sometimes planted after the second crop in order to add more straw to the mulch cover).
However, some fields undergo conventional tillage; either when cereal residues are collected for use as fodder, (soil is therefore left exposed), or when soils are limed (technique that involves the application of calcium and magnesium materials to soil to correct acidity). No tillage is also required for sugarcane ratooning, however in the burnt cane harvested fields, conventional tillage is still applied.

Other Site Specifications:

The Tocantins JECAM site is part of the MATOPIBA Region, a new agricultural expansion area in Brazil.



Plans for Next Growing Season:

Next growing season, will you maintain your current approach, or modify the approach? If you plan to modify, please describe your new approach.

Classification tests are ongoing with time series clustering methods such as dynamic time wrapping (DTW) clustering, which seem more appropriate, regarding the input data, than the original k-means clustering approach.

©2015 Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring