The effect of various long-term tillage systems on soil properties and spring barley yield


Abstract: This study, performed on a soil that is classified as Albic Luvisols that developed on loamy sands overlying loamy material (1.4% organic matter and pH 6.5), concerns the impact of tillage systems on soil properties and the yield of spring barley. The experiment design included 3 tillage systems: conventional tillage, reduced tillage, and no-tillage. Continuous cultivation for 7 consecutive years by reduced tillage and no-tillage led to changes in the physical properties of the surface soil layer (0-5 cm). At the stem elongation growth stage of spring barley, conservation tillage systems resulted in a higher water content and bulk density in relation to conventional tillage. Conservation soil tillage resulted in decreased penetration resistance in the 0-10 cm layer, as compared with conventional tillage. Reduced tillage and no-tillage favored the surface accumulation of organic C and total N in the soil, as well as that of available K and Mg. Our results suggest that conservation tillage systems lead to progressive improvement in soil nutrient status, but have little or no effect on crop yield. Only the no-tillage system had a negative effect on yield of spring barley, by 6.8% in comparison with conventional tillage.

Keywords: Tillage systems, physical and chemical soil properties, spring barley yield

Full Text: PDF