Soil physical properties as affected by traditional, reduced and no-tillage for winter wheat
E.A. Czyż 1
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1
Department of Soil Science, Erosion and Land Conservation, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation - National Research Institute (IUNG-PIB), Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
2
University of Rzeszów, Faculty of Biology and Agriculture, Aleja Rejtana 16c, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland
 
Int. Agrophys. 2009, 23(4): 319–326
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ABSTRACT
The aim of this research was to determine the effects of traditional, reduced and no-tillage systems on the soil physical properties: bulk density, water content, stability in water and soil physical quality. Traditional tillage involved soil inversion whereas reduced tillage and no-tillage were non-inversion systems. Soil physical properties were measured on samples collected from the field throughout the growing season and harvest times. These included: particle size distribution, soil water content and bulk density. Soil stability was measured in terms of the content of readily-dispersible clay (RDC) in the soil samples. From water retention curves, an index of soil physical quality (S index) was calculated. The effect of tillage systems on the values of the physical properties was significant. The non-inversion plots (reduced tillage and no-tillage) increased water content and bulk density in the top layer in comparison with traditional tillage. Reduced tillage and no-tillage reduced the amount of RDC and therefore increased soil stability, especially in the top layer in comparison with traditional tillage. Reduced tillage and no-tillage also decreased the S index after the first year in comparison with traditional tillage. However, after 4 years, the non-inversion plots (reduced tillage and no-tillage) showed some improvement in soil physical quality and soil stability in water.
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