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Individual study: Effect of integrated reservoir tillage for in-situ rainwater harvesting and other tillage practices on soil physical properties

Published source details

Salem H.M., Valero C., Muñoz M. & Gil-Rodríguez M. (2015) Effect of integrated reservoir tillage for in-situ rainwater harvesting and other tillage practices on soil physical properties. Soil and Tillage Research, 151, 50-60


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Water: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2012–2013 in a rainfed wheat field in Wadi Madwar, northwestern Egypt, found more water, more efficient water use, faster infiltration, and less runoff in plots that were tilled less frequently, but found less efficient water use and more runoff in plots with shallower tillage, compared to deeper. More water and faster infiltration were found in soils that were tilled at slower speeds. Water use: Crops used water more efficiently in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (7.78 vs 7.14 kg grain/ha/mm rainfall). Crops used water less efficiently in plots that were tilled to 15 cm depth, compared to 20–25 cm depth (8.35 vs 9.22–9.23 kg grain/ha/mm rainfall). Water availability: More water was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (67 vs 43 mm). Similar amounts of water were found in soils that were tilled to different depths (15–25 cm depth: 66–68 mm water). Less runoff was found in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (10 vs 11 mm runoff). More runoff was found in plots that were tilled to 15 cm depth, compared to 20–25 cm depth (9.4 vs 8.5–8.6 mm runoff). Faster infiltration rates were found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (7 vs 6 cm/hour). Faster infiltration rates were found in soils that were tilled to 20 cm depth, compared to 25 cm depth (8.2 vs 7.7 cm/hour), but similar infiltration rates were found in soils that were tilled to 15 cm or 25 cm depth (7.9 vs 7.7 cm/hour). Implementation options: No differences in water use or runoff water were found in plots that were tilled at different tractor speeds (8.39–9.26 kg grain/ha/mm rainfall, 8.6–9.2 mm runoff). More water was found in soils that were tilled at slower tractor speeds (0.69–1.25 m/s: 67–69 mm water), compared to the fastest speed (1.53 m/s: 65 mm water). Faster infiltration rates were found in soils that were tilled at slower tractor speeds (0.69–1 m/s: 8.5 cm water/hour), compared to faster tractor speeds (1.25 m/s: 7.8 cm; 1.53 m/s: 7 cm). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (0.45 ha plots). A chisel plough was used for both reduced tillage (one pass) and conventional tillage (two passes). Each plot had three subplots (0.15 ha subplots, tilled to 15, 20, or 25 cm depth). Each subplot had four sub-subplots (size not reported; tilled at 0.69, 1, 1.25, or 1.53 m/s). Runoff water was collected in buried containers, downhill from each sub-subplot, after each storm. Soil water content was measured in soil cores (5.5 cm diameter, 0–60 cm length, three samples/sub-subplot, once before tillage and thrice in the dry season). Infiltration was measured with a double-ring infiltrometer (three measurements/sub-subplot, before tillage and three weeks after emergence). Wheat was planted in December 2012, fertilized, and harvested in May 2013.

 

Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2012–2013 in a rainfed wheat field in Wadi Madwar, northwestern Egypt, found higher crop yields in plots with less frequent tillage, compared to more frequent, lower crop yields in plots with shallower tillage, compared to deeper, and higher crop yields in plots that were tilled at slower speeds, compared to faster. Crop yield: Higher wheat yields were found in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (1,324 vs 1,238 kg grain/ha). Lower wheat yields were found in plots that were tilled to 15 cm depth, compared to 20–25 cm depth (1,392 vs 1,516–1,518 kg/ha). Implementation options: Higher wheat yields were found in plots that were tilled at slower tractor speeds (0.69–1.25 m/s: 1,454–1,528 kg/ha), compared to the fastest speed (1.53 m/s: 1,397 kg/ha). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (0.45 ha plots). A chisel plough was used for both reduced tillage (one pass) and conventional tillage (two passes). Each plot had three subplots (0.15 ha subplots, tilled to 15, 20, or 25 cm depth). Each subplot had four sub-subplots (size not reported; tilled at 0.69, 1, 1.25, or 1.53 m/s). Wheat was planted in December 2012, fertilized, and harvested in May 2013.

 

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields Mediterranean Farmland

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2012–2013 in a rainfed wheat field in Wadi Madwar, northwestern Egypt, found less erosion of soils with less frequent tillage, compared to more frequent, more erosion of soils with shallower tillage, compared to deeper, and less erosion of soils that were tilled at slower speeds, compared to faster. Soil erosion and aggregation: Less soil was lost in runoff water from plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage (1.44 vs 1.66 t/ha). More soil was lost in runoff water from plots that were tilled to 15 cm depth, compared to 20–25 cm depth (1.31 vs 1.20–1.22 t/ha). Implementation options: Less soil was lost in runoff water from plots that were tilled at slower tractor speeds (0.69–1 m/s: 1.21–1.22 t/ha), compared to faster speeds (1.25–1.53 t/ha: 1.26–1.29 t/ha). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (0.45 ha plots). A chisel plough was used for both reduced tillage (one pass) and conventional tillage (two passes). Each plot had three subplots (0.15 ha subplots, tilled to 15, 20, or 25 cm depth). Each subplot had four sub-subplots (size not reported; tilled at 0.69, 1, 1.25, or 1.53 m/s). Runoff water was collected in buried containers, downhill from each sub-subplot, after each storm.