Study

Long-Term tillage and crop sequence effects on wheat grain yield and quality

  • Published source details Amato G., Ruisi P., Frenda A.S., Di M.G., Saia S., Plaia A. & Giambalvo D. (2013) Long-Term tillage and crop sequence effects on wheat grain yield and quality. Agronomy Journal, 105, 1317-1327.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Crop production: Use crop rotations

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Crop production: Use crop rotations

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991–2009 in a rainfed durum wheat field in Sicily, Italy, found higher wheat yields, and higher protein content in wheat, in plots with rotations, compared to continuous wheat. Crop yield: Wheat yields were higher in plots with rotations (4.2–4.7 vs 3.2 mg grain/ha). Crop quality: Wheat protein content was higher in plots with rotations (141–143 vs 136 g protein/kg grain). Implementation options: Wheat yields were higher in rotations with faba beans, compared to rotations with berseem clover (4.7 vs 4.2 mg/ha). Methods: Continuous durum wheat Triticum durum, or durum wheat in rotation with faba bean Vicia faba or berseem clover Trifolium alexandrinum, was grown in three subplots each (in plots with conventional, reduced, or no tillage), in each of two blocks (one phase of each rotation in each block, each year). Each subplot was 18.5 x 20 m. The seeds were sown in December, and the wheat was harvested in May. All plots were fertilized (wheat: 69 kg/ha P2O5 before planting and 120 kg N/ha after; beans or clover: 46 kg/ha P2O5 before planting and 80 kg N/ha after). Herbicide was used in all plots. Wheat straw was removed from all plots, but bean and clover straw was not. Yield was measured in three samples areas/plot/year (8.6 x 8.6 m areas).

     

  2. Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991–2009 in a rainfed wheat field in Sicily, Italy, found less protein in wheat that was grown on plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Crop yield: Similar wheat yields were found in plots with no tillage or conventional tillage (4 Mg/ha). Crop quality: Less protein was found in wheat that was grown in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage (135 vs 144 g/kg). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on six plots each (19 x 20 m subplots). Conventional tillage was mouldboard ploughing in summer (30 cm depth) and harrowing before planting (two passes). No tillage was direct drilling and pre-emergence herbicide. The plots had either faba bean-wheat, clover-wheat, or wheat-wheat rotations. Fertilizer and post-emergence herbicide were used on all plots. Yield was measured in three samples/plot/year (8.6 x 8.6 m), in 1996–2009.

     

  3. Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, controlled study in 1991–2009 in a rainfed wheat field in Sicily, Italy, found similar crop yields, but lower crop quality, in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Crop yield: Similar wheat yields were found in plots with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (4 Mg/ha). Crop quality: Wheat grains had less protein in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (141 vs 144 g/kg). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on six plots each (18.5 x 20 m plots). Mouldboard ploughing (30 cm depth, in summer) and harrowing (1–2 passes) were used for conventional tillage. Chisel ploughing (40 cm depth, in summer) and mouldboard ploughing (15 cm, in autumn) were used for reduced tillage. A seed drill and pre-emergence herbicide were used for no tillage. All plots were fertilized (before planting wheat: 69 kg/ha P2O5; before planting bean and berseem: 46 kg/ha P2O5; wheat mono crop: 120 kg N/ha; rotational crops: 80 kg N/ha). Weeds were controlled with post-emergence herbicide. Yield was measured in three areas (8.6 x 8.6 m) in each plot, in each year.

     

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