Crop rotation and tillage effects on selected soil physical properties of a Typic Haploxerert in an irrigated semi-arid Mediterranean region

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. 01330 Adana, Turkey.

2 Cukurova University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture Machinery, 01330 Adana, Turkey.

3 Gaziosmanpaşa University, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition. Tokat, Turkey.

Abstract

Physical, chemical and biological attributes of soil surface are significantly affected
by tillage practices and crop rotation. The objective of this study was to determine the
short-term (2006-2009) effects of conventional and conservational tillage practices on
selected soil physical properties of a heavy clay soil under two wheat-corn and wheatlegume
rotation in a semi-arid Mediterranean Region. Treatments included
conventional tillage with residue incorporated in soil (CT1), conventional tillage with
burned residue (CT2), reduced tillage with heavy tandem disc-harrow (RT1), reduced
tillage with rotary tiller (RT2), reduced tillage with heavy tandem disc harrow fallowed
by no-tillage (RNT) and no tillage (NT). Disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were
collected to determine saturated hydraulic conductivity (HC), bulk density (BD), mean
weight diameter (MWD), available water content (AWC) and total porosity at 0-10,
10-20 and 20-30 cm depths. The highest HC values of 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm depths
were obtained with CT1 (9.70×10-6 m s-1, 8.74×10-6 m s-1) and CT2 (9.39×10-6 m s-1,
8.58×10-6 m s-1) applications. CT2 treatment destructed the soil aggregates and resulted
in greater bulk density and low total porosity at 0-10 cm depth. The available water
content at 0-10 cm depth was significantly reduced with the CT1 (P<0.01) and CT2
applications (P<0.05). Although three years of no-tillage application in clay rich soils
caused higher bulk density and low porosity, increase in MWD is an indication of soil
and water conservation. Therefore, no till and reduced till applications should be
adapted to the farmers’ conditions for sustainability in agriculture..

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