Study

Effects of tillage and fallow period management on soil physical behaviour and maize development

  • Published source details Alletto L., Coquet Y. & Justes E. (2011) Effects of tillage and fallow period management on soil physical behaviour and maize development. Agricultural Water Management, 102, 74-85

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Water: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Water: Grow cover crops in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Grow cover crops in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Water: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2008 in an irrigated maize field in the Garonne River corridor, southern France (same study as (10)), found that tillage had inconsistent effects on water loss. Water availability: Less water was lost through drainage from soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, during three of four growing seasons, but more water was lost during two of four fallow seasons (drainage volumes not reported for significant comparisons). Methods: Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on six plots each (20 x 50 m plots). Three of these plots had winter cover crops (white mustard or oats) and three had bare soil. A mouldboard plough (28–30 cm depth) and a cultivator (8 cm depth, 1–2 passes) were used for conventional tillage, in April–May. A cultivator (7–9 cm depth) and a disc harrow (8–12 cm depth) were used for reduced tillage, in March–April. Maize was sown in April–May 2005–2008 and harvested in October 2005–2008. Drainage from soils was measured with fiberglass-wick lysimeters (40 cm depth, two lysimeters/plot), on 67 sampling dates. A centre-pivot sprinkler was used for irrigation (857–943 mm water/year, irrigation plus rainfall).

     

  2. Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2008 in an irrigated maize field in the Garonne River corridor, southern France, found higher crop yields in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Crop yield: Higher maize yields were found in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in three of eight comparisons (11–12 vs 10–11 t/ha). Methods: Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on six plots each (20 x 50 m plots). Three of these plots had winter cover crops (white mustard or oats), and three had bare soil. A mouldboard plough (28–30 cm depth) and a cultivator (8 cm depth, 1–2 passes) were used for conventional tillage, in April–May. A cultivator (7–9 cm depth) and a disc harrow (8–12 cm depth) were used for reduced tillage, in March–April. Maize was sown in April–May 2005–2008 and harvested in October 2005–2008. A centre-pivot sprinkler was used for irrigation (857–943 mm water/year, irrigation plus rainfall).

     

  3. Water: Grow cover crops in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2008 in an irrigated maize field in the Garonne River corridor, southern France (same study as (13)), found that less water was lost through drainage from soils with winter cover crops, compared to bare soils. Water availability: Less water was lost through drainage from soils with winter cover crops, compared to bare soils, on 21 of 67 sampling dates (drainage volumes not reported for significant comparisons). Methods: Winter cover crops (2006–2007: white mustard; 2004–2006 and 2007–2008: oats) were grown on six plots, and bare soil was maintained in six plots. The plots were 20 x 50 m. Maize was sown in April–May 2005–2008 and harvested in October 2005–2008. Drainage from soils was measured with fiberglass-wick lysimeters (40 cm depth, two lysimeters/plot), on 67 sampling dates. A centre-pivot sprinkler was used for irrigation (857–943 mm water/year, irrigation plus rainfall).

     

  4. Crop production: Grow cover crops in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 2004–2008 in an irrigated maize field in the Garonne River corridor, southern France, found similar maize yields in plots with or without winter cover crops. Crop yield: Similar maize yields were found in plots with cover crops or bare soil (11–13 vs 10–13 kg grain/ha). Methods: Winter cover crops (2006–2007: white mustard; 2004–2006 and 2007–2008: oats) were grown on six plots, and bare soil was maintained on six plots. The plots were 20 x 50 m. Maize was sown in April–May 2005–2008 and harvested in October 2005–2008. A centre-pivot sprinkler was used for irrigation (857–943 mm water/year, irrigation plus rainfall).

     

Output references

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