tillage practices
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Agronomy ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 176
Suying Chen ◽  
Peipei Yang ◽  
Yuming Zhang ◽  
Wenxu Dong ◽  
Chunsheng Hu ◽  

Current tillage practices in the important winter wheat–summer maize double cropping system of the North China Plain are under debate because of negative effects on soil quality and crop yield. Therefore, a long-term experiment was conducted from 2001 to 2018 to determine the effects of soil conservation practices on crop yield and soil quality. The treatments were imposed following maize harvest and prior wheat seeding, and were defined as follows: (1) moldboard ploughing (0–20 cm) following maize straw removal (CK); (2) moldboard ploughing (0–20 cm) following maize straw return (CT); (3) rotary tillage following maize straw return (RT); and (4) no tillage with maize straw covering the soil surface (NT). Wheat straw was chopped and spread on the soil in all treatments and maize seeded without prior tillage. Wheat yields were higher in CT than RT and NT treatments (p < 0.05); NT had 18% lower wheat yields than CT. No significant differences were found between treatments in summer maize yields. The soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the surface layer (0–5 cm) was higher in NT and RT compared to CT and CK. However, SOC content in the 10–20 cm and 20–30 cm layers was lower in NT and RT compared to CT and CK. Similarly, available phosphorus in the surface soil was higher in NT and RT than in CT and CK. but the opposite was true for the lower soil layers. SOC stocks (0–30 cm) increased in all treatments, and were initially faster in NT and RT than in CT and CK. However, SOC stocks were higher in CT than in other treatments at the end of the experiment. This finding indicates that no tillage and reduced tillage decreased both wheat yields and soil C sequestration over time; it also indicates that CT was the most robust in terms of crop yields and soil C sequestration.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Yabing Gu ◽  
Yongjun Liu ◽  
Jiaying Li ◽  
Mingfeng Cao ◽  
Zhenhua Wang ◽  

Long-term conventional shallow tillage reduced soil quality and limited the agriculture development. Intermittent deep tillage could effectively promote agricultural production, through optimizing soil structure, underground ecology system, and soil fertility. However, the microecological mechanism of intermittent deep tillage promoting agriculture production has never been reported, and the effect of tillage depth on crop growth has not been explored in detail. In this study, three levels of intermittent deep tillage (30, 40, and 50 cm) treatments were conducted in an experimental field site with over 10 years of conventional shallow tillage (20 cm). Our results indicated that intermittent deep tillage practices helped to improve plant physiological growth status, chlorophyll a, and resistance to diseases, and the crop yield and value of output were increased with the deeper tillage practices. Crop yield (18.59%) and value of output (37.03%) were highest in IDT-50. There were three mechanisms of intermittent deep tillage practices that improved crop growth: (1) Intermittent deep tillage practices increased soil nutrients and root system architecture traits, which improved the fertility and nutrient uptake of crop through root system. (2) Changing rhizosphere environments, especially for root length, root tips, pH, and available potassium contributed to dissimilarity of bacterial communities and enriched plant growth-promoting species. (3) Functions associated with stress tolerance, including signal transduction and biosynthesis of other secondary metabolites were increased significantly in intermittent deep tillage treatments. Moreover, IDT-30 only increased soil characters and root system architecture traits compared with CK, but deeper tillage could also change rhizosphere bacterial communities and functional profiles. Plant height and stem girth in IDT-40 and IDT-50 were higher compared with IDT-30, and infection rates of black shank and black root rot in IDT-50 were even lower in IDT-40. The study provided a comprehensive explanation into the effects of intermittent deep tillage in plant production and suggested an optimal depth.

Agronomy ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 167
Miriam Hannah Messelhäuser ◽  
Marcus Saile ◽  
Bernd Sievernich ◽  
Roland Gerhards

Effective control of Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. (blackgrass) solely with a chemical treatment is not guaranteed anymore because populations exhibit resistance to almost all herbicide modes of action. Integrated weed management (IWM) against blackgrass is necessary to maintain high weed control efficacies in winter cereals. Four field experiments were conducted in Southwest Germany from 2018 to 2020 to control A. myosuroides with a combination of cultural and chemical methods. Stubble treatments, including flat, deep and inversion soil tillage; false seedbed preparation and glyphosate use, were combined with the application of the new pre-emergence herbicide cinmethylin in two rates in winter wheat. Average densities of A. myosuroides in the untreated control plots were up to 505 plants m−2. The combination of different stubble management strategies and the pre-emergence herbicide cinmethylin controlled 86–97% of A. myosuroides plants at the low rate and 95–100% at the high rate until 120 days after sowing. The different stubble tillage practices varied in their efficacy between trials and years. Most effective and consistent were pre-sowing glyphosate application on the stubble and stale seedbed preparation with a disc harrow. Stubble treatments increased winter wheat density in the first year but had no effect on crop density in the second year. Pre-emergence application of cinmethylin did not reduce winter wheat densities. Multiple tactics of weed control, including stubble treatments and pre-emergence application of cinmethylin, provided higher and more consistent control of A. myosuroides. Integration of cultural weed management could prevent the herbicide resistance development.

2022 ◽  
Wen-Xuan Liu ◽  
Wen-Sheng Liu ◽  
Mu-Yu Yang ◽  
Yu-Xin Wei ◽  
Zhe Chen ◽  

Abstract The ever-increasing trend of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions is accelerating global warming and threatening food security. Environmental benefits and sustainable food production must be pursued locally and globally. Thus, a field experiment was conducted in 2015 to understand how to balance the trade-offs between agronomic productivity and environment quality in the North China Plain (NCP). Eight treatments consisted of two factors, i.e., (i) tillage practices: rotary tillage (RT) and no-till (NT), and (ii) cropping sequences (CS): maize-wheat-soybean-wheat (MWSW), soybean-wheat-maize-wheat (SWMW), soybean-wheat (SW), and maize-wheat (MW). The economic and environmental benefits were evaluated by multiple indicators including the carbon footprint (CF), maize equivalent economic yield (MEEY), energy yield (EY), carbon sustainability index (CSI), etc. Compared with NT, RT increased the EY and MEEY, but emitted 9.4% higher GHGs. Among different CSs, no significant reduction was observed in CF. The lowest (2.0 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 yr-1) and the highest (5.6 Mg CO2-eq ha-1 yr-1) CF values were observed under MW and SWMW, respectively. However, CSs with soybean enhanced MEEY and the net revenue due to its higher price compared to that of MW. Although the highest CSI was observed under RT-MW, soybean-based crop rotation could offset the decline in CSI under NT when compared to that for RT. These findings suggest that conservation agriculture (CA) could enhance the balance in trade-offs between economic and environmental benefits. Additional research is needed on how to achieve high crop production by establishing a highly efficient conservation agriculture system in the NCP.

Yang Zhang ◽  
Yan Zhang ◽  
Yan Gao ◽  
Dandan Huang ◽  
Xuewen Chen ◽  

Residue return can prevent or restore the degradation of cropland, meanwhile, additional N input from residue return inevitably result in the changes of soil nitrogen (N) pools. Our objectives were to evaluate these changes in a 16-year field experiment. The residue return experiment consisted of no-tillage (NT) and mouldboard plough (MP), combined with continuous maize (Zea mays L.) (MM) and maize-soybean (Glycine max Merr.) rotation (MS) cropping systems, that is, NTMM, NTMS, MPMM, MPMS; conventional tillage (removal of crop residue and deep plough) with continuous maize (CTMM) was included as a control. The soil was separated into density (LF, light fraction) and particle size (sand, silt and clay) fraction. In 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm layers, soil TN content in NT was higher than MP, whereas the opposite trend was observed in 10-20 cm. Thus, the stratification ratio of soil TN was greater under NT. Cropping system affected soil TN as MM > MS. Residue return increased soil N storage by 6.44%-24.85% in the plough layer. Taking CTMM as the baseline, NTMM and MPMM increased the N storage in all physical fractions, while the decrease of silt-N storage was observed in NTMS and MPMS. Under residue return, the distribution of N storage changes in LF and sand fraction was affected by tillage practice, and that in silt and clay fraction was affected by cropping system. In summary, NTMM is effective for soil N accumulation due to its highest N storage and all physical fractions of N storage was enhanced.

2022 ◽  
Vol 169 ◽  
pp. 104232
Julia Denier ◽  
Michel-Pierre Faucon ◽  
Anne-Maïmiti Dulaurent ◽  
Julien Guidet ◽  
Léa Kervroëdan ◽  

2022 ◽  
pp. 246-255
Leonard Rusinamhodzi ◽  
James Njeru ◽  
John E. Sariah ◽  
Rama Ngatoluwa ◽  
Phlorentin P. Lagwen

Abstract Nitrogen (N) deficiency is a common feature in soils managed by smallholder farmers in Africa. Crop residue retention, in combination with no-till (NT), may be a pathway to improve agronomic use efficiency of applied N for small-scale farmers under the predominant rainfed conditions. This chapter reports on the results of a study carried out over two cropping seasons in the long rains of 2014 and 2015 on two sites: (i) on-farm (Mandela); and (ii) a research station (SARI) in eastern Tanzania. The experiment consisted of two tillage systems, conventional tillage (CT) and Conservation Agriculture (CA), with a minimum of 2.5 t ha-1 crop residue cover maintained in the plots during the experiment. CT consisted of soil inversion through tillage and removal of crop residues. In the on-farm experiment, maize was grown in plots with four rates of N application: 0, 27, 54 and 108 kg N ha-1. In the on-station trial, five rates were used: 0, 20, 40, 60 and 100 kg N ha-1. Maize yield and agronomic efficiency (AE) of N were used to assess and compare the productivity of the tested treatments. The results showed that tillage, soil type and rate of N application influenced crop productivity. In the clay soils, the differences between tillage practices were small. Under CT, AE ranged between 21.6 and 53.9 kg/kg N, and it was 20.4-60.6 kg/kg N under CA. The lowest fertilizer application rate of 27 kg ha-1 often had the largest AE across the soil types and tillage practices. In the on-station trials at SARI, the largest AE of 24.6 kg/kg N was recorded under CA with 40 kg N ha-1. As in the on-farm trials, the highest N application rate on-station did not lead to the largest AE. In the CT, AE ranged between 11.5 and 16.8 kg/kg N compared with a range of 15.1 to 24.6 kg/kg N for the CA treatment. Overall, crop residue retention, in combination with NT, is important to improve soil moisture and use efficiency of applied nutrients. Additionally, the initial soil fertility status is also important in determining the magnitude of short-term crop response to applied nutrients. Innovative pathways are needed to achieve the multiple objectives played by maize crop residues for results reported here to be sustainable. However, efficiency of nutrient use needs to be assessed, together with returns on investments, as small yields may mean high nutrient use efficiency but not necessarily significant increased returns at the farm level.

2021 ◽  
pp. 96-104
Nadia Chaieb ◽  
Abdelkarim Chiab ◽  
Zied Ben Ali Idoudi ◽  
Moncef Ben-Hammouda

Aims: Conservation agriculture has been recommended as an option to mitigate climate change impact when practicing conventional, to ensure sustainability and food security This study examined the effect of conventional tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) on mineral elements uptake, total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) of barley. Study Design:  Split-plot design was applied for this study. Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was conducted in ESAK station (Boulifa, kef, North West Tunisia) during 2016/2017 cultivation year. Methodology: Mineral elements uptake, total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) of barley were studied as affected by conventional tillage (CT) and no tillage (NT) for tillering and grain filling stages. Results: The results showed that tillage practices (T) had no significant effect on mineral uptake, total phenolic content and total flavonoids content under rainfed conditions. The stage (S) had showed significant effects on P, Ca and Na amounts for both tillage practices when it had no effect on K amount. The interaction T x S had no significant effect on mineral elements concentrations and TFC. However, this interaction had affected TPC significantly. Phosphorous (P) showed high significant positive correlations with Ca and Na. In addition, P presented high significant negative correlations with TPC and TFC. For partial correlation based on Tillage practices, similar correlations values were noted.  Considering the partial correlation based on plant stages, no significant correlations had been noted. Conclusion: This work enlarges our knowledge on barley mineral elements uptake, TPC and TFC as influenced by tillage practices aiding decision makers in increasing no tillage adoption in Tunisia under rainfed conditions.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (12) ◽  
pp. e0260673
Ahmad Sher ◽  
Muhammad Yasir Arfat ◽  
Sami Ul-Allah ◽  
Abdul Sattar ◽  
Muhammad Ijaz ◽  

Sunflower production is significantly lower in arid and semi-arid regions due to various crop management problem. Conservation of tillage provides the most excellent opportunity to reduce degradation of soil reserves and increase soil productivity. The main objective of this study was to investigate the combined effects of conservation tillage and drought stress on growth and productivity of different sunflower hybrids. Experimental treatments included two sunflower hybrids (‘NK-Senji’ and ‘S-278’), two drought stress treatments (i.e., well-watered and drought stress at flowering and grain filling stages) and three tillage practices (i.e., conservation, minimum and deep tillage). The results indicated that morphological and physiological parameters, and yield-related traits were significantly (P≤0.05) affected by all individual factors; however, their interactive effects were non-significant. Among sunflower hybrids, ‘NK-Senji’ performed better for morphological, physiological, and yield-related traits than ‘S-278’. Similarly, conservation tillage observed better traits compared to the rest of the tillage practices included in the study. Nonetheless, conservation tillage improved growth and yield-related traits of hybrid ‘NK-Senji’ under drought stress. Hence, it is concluded that conservation tillage can improve the productivity of sunflower under low moisture availability. Therefore, conservation tillage could be suggested in the areas of lower water ability to improve sunflower production. Nonetheless, sunflower hybrids or varieties need thorough testing for their adaptability to conservation tillage and low moisture availability before making recommendations.

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