Document Type : Research Paper
Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura - Research Unit for the Study of Cropping Systems- Metaponto (MT), Italy.
Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura-Research Unit for Cropping Systems in Dry Environments-Bari, Italy.
Many sustainable agronomical practices can be adopted to contain
environmental risks of crop production and, at the same time, sustain yield and
quality. In this framework, the aim of this research was to study the effects of
continuous cropping (CC) and crop rotation, tillage and fertilization strategies on
durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) production. The responses of soil properties
were further investigated. The research was carried out from 1998 to 2006 in two
two-year rotations repeated two times and in a continuous cropping. The wheat
yield and total nitrogen (N) uptake mean value were significantly higher in rotation
(by 9.7 and 21.5%, respectively) than in CC. Moreover, the broad bean-wheat
rotation significantly increased wheat performance, in particular yield (+35.2 and
47.9% in conventional and in minimum tillage, respectively) compared to sugar
beet-wheat rotation. The minimum tillage increased total organic carbon compared
to the conventional one and this enhancement was observed both in CC and
rotation (+11.6 and 10.6%, respectively). The reduced tillage also increased total N
in both cropping systems and mineral N (+25.4%) in rotation. On the whole, the
findings of this research provide an opportunity to identify best cultivation
strategies to improve wheat performance in rainfed farming systems.
Keywords: Minimum tillage; Rotation systems; Fertilizer application; Wheat yield;