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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Soil structure stability under conventional and reduced tillage in a sandy loam

Published source details

Daraghmeh O.A., Jensen J.R. & Petersen C.T. (2009) Soil structure stability under conventional and reduced tillage in a sandy loam. Geoderma, 150, 64-71

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Change tillage practices Soil Fertility

A controlled experiment in 2003-2006 on sandy loam soil near Copenhagen, Denmark (Daraghmeh et al. 2009) found that reducing tillage improved soil structure by increasing soil organic matter and reducing soil density.  Soil stability was higher under reduced tillage in wet conditions (74.3% on average) compared to conventional ploughing (66.8% on average), but higher under conventional ploughing in dry conditions. This is due to higher soil organic matter content in the reduced tillage (3.06 mg/m3) compared to the conventional ploughing (2.6 mg/m3). The optimal time for tillage appears to be determined by the water content of the soil. There were two tillage treatments in an experimental field (size not specified); reduced tillage with harrowing, and convention mouldboard ploughing with harrowing. Soil samples were taken 6 times during the tillage year. Soil texture, organic matter, stability and density were measured.