Short-term effects of four tillage practices on soil physical properties, soil water potential, and maize yield

Salem, Haytham M. and Valero Ubierna, Constantino and Muñoz-García, Miguel Angel and Gil Rodríguez, María and Silva, Luis Leopoldo (2014). Short-term effects of four tillage practices on soil physical properties, soil water potential, and maize yield. "Geoderma", v. 237 ; pp. 60-70. ISSN 0016-7061. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.08.014.

Description

Title: Short-term effects of four tillage practices on soil physical properties, soil water potential, and maize yield
Author/s:
  • Salem, Haytham M.
  • Valero Ubierna, Constantino
  • Muñoz-García, Miguel Angel
  • Gil Rodríguez, María
  • Silva, Luis Leopoldo
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Geoderma
Date: January 2014
ISSN: 0016-7061
Volume: 237
Subjects:
Freetext Keywords: Conservation tillage; Conventional tillage; Soil compaction; Soil temperature; Wireless sensors network
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Agrónomos (UPM) [antigua denominación]
Department: Ingeniería Rural [hasta 2014]
UPM's Research Group: LPF-TAGRALIA
Creative Commons Licenses: None

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Abstract

The area cultivated using conservation tillage has recently increased in central Spain. However, soil compaction and water retention with conservation tillage still remains a genuine concern for landowners in this region be- cause of its potential effect on the crop growth and yield. The aim of this research is to determine the short- term influences of four tillage treatments on soil physical properties. In the experiment, bulk density, cone index, soil water potential, soil temperature and maize (Zea mays L.) productivity have been measured. A field experiment was established in spring of 2013 on a loamy soil. The experiment compared four tillage methods (zero tillage, ZT; reservoir tillage, RT; minimum tillage, MT; and conventional tillage, CT). Soil bulk density and soil cone index were measured during maize growing season and at harvesting time. Furthermore, the soil water potential was monitored by using a wireless sensors network with sensors at 20 and 40 cm depths. Also, soil temperatures were registered at depths of 5 and 12 cm. Results indicated that there were significant differ- ences between soil bulk density and cone index of ZT method and those of RT, MT, and CT, during the growing season; although, this difference was not significant at the time of harvesting in some soil layers. Overall, in most soil layers, tillage practice affected bulk density and cone index in the order: ZT N RT N MT N CT. Regardless oftheentireobservationperiod,results exhibited that soils under ZT and RT treatments usually resulted in higher water potential and lower soil temperature than the other two treatments at both soil depths. In addition, clear differences in maize grain yield were observed between ZT and CT treatments, with a grain yield (up to 15.4%) increase with the CT treatment. On the other hand, no significant differences among (RT, MT, and CT) on maizeyieldwerefound.Inconclusion,the impact of soil compaction increase and soil temperature decrease,pro- duced by ZT treatment is a potential reason for maize yield reduction in this tillage method. We found that RT could be certainly a viable option for farmers incentral Spain,particularly when switching to conservation tillage from conventional tillage. This technique showed a moderate and positive effect on soil physical properties and increased maize yields compared to ZT and MT, and provides an opportunity to stabilize maize yields compared to CT.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
FP7245986-2RHEAPablo González de Santos (CSIC)Robots fleets for highly effective agriculture and forestry management

More information

Item ID: 32545
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/32545/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:32545
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.08.014
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016706114003231
Deposited by: Profesor Constantino Valero Ubierna
Deposited on: 03 Nov 2014 10:55
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2016 17:15
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