Salem, Haytham M. and Valero Ubierna, Constantino and Muñoz García, Miguel Angel and Gil Rodríguez, María
Effect of integrated reservoir tillage for in-situ rainwater harvesting and other tillage practices on soil physical properties.
"Soil & Tillage Research", v. 151
There is a need for in-situ soil moisture conservation in arid and semi-arid regions due to insufficient rainfall for agriculture. For this purpose, a combination implement [integrated reservoir tillage system (RT)] comprised of a single-row chisel plow, single-row spike tooth harrow, modified seeder, and spiked roller was developed and compared to the popular tillage practices, viz., minimum tillage (MT) and conventional tillage (CT) in an arid Mediterranean environment in Egypt. The different tillage practices were conducted at tillage depths of 15, 20, and 25 cm and forward speeds of 0.69, 1, 1.25, and 1.53 m s-1.
Some soil physical properties, runoff, soil loss, water harvesting efficiency and yield of wheat were evaluated. The different tillage practices caused significant differences in soil physical properties as the RT increased soil infiltration, producing a rate of 48% and 65% higher than that obtained in MT and CT, respectively. The lowest values of runoff and soil loss were recorded under RT as 4.91 mm and 0.65 t ha-1, whereas the highest values were recorded under CT as 11.36 mm and 1.66 t ha-1, respectively. In conclusion, the RT enhanced the infiltration rate, increased water harvesting efficiency, reduced runoff and achieved the highest yield of wheat. The best tillage operating parameters appeared to be at a tillage depth of 20 cm and speed between 1.00 and 1.25 m s-1.