Maize response to different straw management and tillage systems under cereal crop rotation
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Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, 55-230 Jelcz-Laskowice, Poland
Institute of Agrophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Doświadczalna 4, P.O. Box 201, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2006, 20(2): 141-146
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of various straw management and tillage systems on the emergence, grain yield and cob characteristics of maize (Zea mays L.) under different cereal rotations on two soils (Orthic Luvisols) of loamy sand and sandy loam textures. The study was conducted in 1999, 2002 and 2003 in a micro-plot (1x1 m) experiment. Concrete walls, 120 cm deep, separated each plot of 1x1 m (five replicates). Straw management systems included: removed straw (RS) and left straw (LS) in the amount of annual straw yield. The retained straw was chopped and spread by hand. Under each straw management system the three following tillage systems were applied: conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT), no-tillage (NT) with sowing to the uncultivated soil and chemical weed control. Each treatment had five replicates giving a total of sixty micro-plots. The preceding crops of maize were rye, winter wheat or maize, depending on the soil and year. The same maize varieties were used in both soils (Antares in 1999-2000 and Matilda in 2003). There was a tendency towards poorer maize emergence in plots with retained straw compared to removed straw under no-tillage system compared to conventionally tilled system in both soils. The results indicated that the reduced tillage systems in combination with chopped straw can be applied on the studied soils without any significant decrease in maize grain yield.
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