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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Wheel traffic and tillage effects on runoff and crop yield

Published source details

Li Y.X., Tullberg J.N. & Freebairn D.M. (2007) Wheel traffic and tillage effects on runoff and crop yield. Soil and Tillage Research, 97, 282-292


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 experiment in 1994-1999, on a clay soil in Queensland, Australia (Li et al. 2007) found that runoff decreased by 36% and yield increased by 9% in controlled traffic plots compared to compacted plots. Soil water content was higher in compacted plots at 0-500 mm depth. Controlled traffic and zero tillage combined decreased runoff by 47.% and increased yield by 14.5 %. Reduced tillage also reduced runoff regardless of traffic. Tillage plots of 90 m2 were arranged in pairs (one plot had zero tillage and the other plot had stubble mulch tillage), within which were two traffic treatments:  non-wheeled and wheeled. This was replicated in four blocks. Compacted areas were wheeled annually using a 100 kW tractor. Crops included: wheat Triticum aestivum, sorghum Sorghum bicolor, maize/sweet corn Zea mays and sunflower Helianthus annus. Yield was determined from harvested transects in the plots. Runoff was recorded and soil moisture content was measured by taking soil cores to 5 cm depth.

 

Change tillage practices Soil Fertility

A replicated experiment in 1994-1999, on clay soil in Queensland, Australia (Li et al. 2007), found that water infiltration and yield were higher in plots using conservation tillage. Controlled traffic combined with zero tillage reduced runoff by 47.2 % and increased yield by 14.5 %. The 90 m2 tillage plots were arranged in pairs: one plot had zero tillage and the other stubble mulch tillage, within which were two traffic treatments:  non-wheeled and wheeled. This was replicated four times. Compacted areas were wheeled annually using a 100 kW tractor. Crops included: wheat Triticum aestivum, sorghum Sorghum bicolor, maize Zea mays, sunflower Helianthus annus and sweet corn (different cultivar of maize). Yield was determined from harvested transects in the plots. Runoff and soil moisture content was measured by taking soil cores between 0-50 mm depth and measuring moisture content gravimetrically. Controlled traffic and zero tillage combined were not separated in results.