Impact of cover crops and tillage on porosity of podzolic soil
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Department of Cultivation and Fertilization of Horticultural Plants, University of Life Sciences, Leszczyńskiego 58, 20-068 Lublin, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2013, 27(3): 247–255
The aim of the study was to determine the influence of cover crops biomass, mixed with the soil on different dates and with the use of different tools in field conditions. The cover crop biomass had a beneficial influence on the total porosity of the 0-20 cm layer of the soil after winter. The highest porosity was achievedwith cover crops of buckwheat, phacelia and mustard, the lowest with rye. During the vegetation period the highest porosity of soil was observed in the ridges. Among the remaining non-ploughing cultivations, pre-winter use of stubble cultivator proved to have a beneficial influence on the soil porosity, providing results comparable to those achieved in conventional tillage. The differential porosity of the soil was modified not only by the catch crops and the cultivation methods applied, but also by the sample collection dates, and it did change during the vegetation period. The highest content of macropores after winter was observed for the phacelia cover crop, and the lowest in the case of cultivation without any cover crops. Pre-winter tillage with the use of a stubble cultivator increased the amount of macropores in soil in spring, and caused the biggest participation of mesopores as compared with other non-ploughing cultivation treatments of the soil. The smallest amount of mesopores was found in the ridges.