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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Organic matter and soil tilth in arable farming: Management makes a difference within 5–6 years

Published source details

Schjønning P., Munkholm L.J., Elmholt S. & Olesen J.E. (2007) Organic matter and soil tilth in arable farming: Management makes a difference within 5–6 years. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 122, 157-172


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Control traffic and traffic timing Soil Fertility

A replicated, site comparison study in 2001-2003 on sandy loam soil in Denmark (Schjønning et al. 2007) found 25% lower microbial biomass at Flakkebjerg in uncompacted compared to compacted soil across all three cropping systems. No difference was found at Foulum. There were three 4-year crop rotations at two sites: cereal (oats Avena sativa, barley Hordeum vulgare, lupin Lupinus angustifolius and wheat Triticum aestivum) without manure; cereal plus manure; and cereal-grass Lolium perenne-clover Trifolium repens and Trifolium pratense rotation without manure. Part of each plot was compacted by a medium-sized tractor. There were two replicates of 216 m2 plots at Foulum and 169 m2 plots at Flakkebjerg. Soils were sampled to 13 cm depth at Foulum and 10 cm depth at Flakkebjerg in spring in the wheat plots, from compacted and uncompacted plots.

 

Use crop rotation Soil Fertility

A replicated site comparison study in 2001-2003 on a sandy-loam in Denmark (Schjønning et al, 2007) found that soil organic carbon was higher under crop rotation (2.14 g/100g) relative to continuous cereal at Foulum (2.01 g/100 g). At Flakkebjerg, organic carbon was highest in the cereal plus manure treatment (1.06 g/100 g) compared to continuous cereal (0.91g/100 g). Soil porosity at Flakkebjerg was much higher under crop rotation (0.120 m3m-3) compared to continuous cereal (0.094 m3m-3), and cereal with manure (0.090 m3m-3). There were three 4-year crop rotations at two sites: cereal (oats Avena sativa, barley Hordeum vulgare, lupin Lupinus angustifolius, wheat Triticum aestivum) no manure; cereal plus manure; cereal-grass Lolium perenne-clover Trifolium repens and Trifolium pratense rotation without manure. Part of each plot was compacted by a medium-sized tractor. There were two replicates of 216 m2 plots at Foulum, and 169 m2 plots at Flakkebjerg. Soils were sampled to 13 cm depth at Foulum and 10 cm depth at Flakkebjerg in the wheat plots, from compacted and uncompacted plots.