Study

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2004 in an irrigated field in Davis, California, USA, found lower crop yields in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Crop yield: Lower chickpea yields were found in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of two comparisons (with continuous cropping: 25 vs 193 g dry weight/m2). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on six plots each (67 x 4.7 m plots, three beds/plot). All plots had Cicer arietinum chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in rotation with other crops. Crop residues were incorporated to 20 cm depth, and the beds were shaped, on plots with conventional tillage (disk, lister, and ring roller). Crop residues were flail mown and spread on the plots with no tillage. All plots were fertilized in 2003, but not thereafter (112 kg P/ha phosphorous, 50 kg NPK/ha, and 67 kg N/ha). Cultivation was used to control weeds on plots with conventional tillage. Hand weeding was used on plots with no tillage. Herbicide was used on all plots. Some plots were irrigated. Chickpeas were harvested on 28 June 2004.

     

  2. Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2003–2004 in irrigated farmland in Davis, California, USA, found more organic matter and phosphorus in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Tillage had inconsistent effects on potassium. Organic matter: More carbon was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of two comparisons (in rotations with fallows: 4 vs 3.8 kg total C/m2). Nutrients: Similar amounts of nitrogen were found in plots with no tillage or conventional tillage (450–460 g total N/m2). More potassium was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in two of six comparisons (10.3–12.9 vs 6–7.7 mg K/litre), but less was found in one of twelve comparisons (4.8 vs 6.3 mg/L). More phosphorous was found in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of six comparisons (27 vs 19 mg P/kg soil). Similar pH levels were found in soils with no tillage or conventional tillage (pH 6.8–7.3). Soil organisms: Similar amounts of microbial and nematode biomass (both measured as carbon) were found in plots with no tillage or conventional tillage (60–80 vs 60 g microbial C/m2; 0.1–0.2 vs 0.2–0.25 g nematode C/m2). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on six plots each (67 x 4.7 m plots, three beds/plot). Crop residues were incorporated to 20 cm depth, and the beds were shaped, on plots with conventional tillage (disk, lister, and ring roller). Crop residues were flail mown and spread on the plots with no tillage. All plots were fertilized in 2003, but not thereafter (112 kg P/ha phosphorous, 50 kg NPK/ha, and 67 kg N/ha). Cultivation was used to control weeds on plots with conventional tillage. Hand weeding was used on plots with no tillage. Herbicide was used on all plots. Some plots were irrigated. Soil samples were collected in December 2003, and June, September, and December 2004 (0–30 cm depth, three samples/plot).

     

Output references
What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation assesses the research looking at whether interventions are beneficial or not. It is based on summarised evidence in synopses, on topics such as amphibians, bats, biodiversity in European farmland, and control of freshwater invasive species. More are available and in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
Our Journal: Conservation Evidence

Our Journal:
Conservation Evidence

A unique, free to publish open-access journal publishing research and case studies that measure the effects of conservation actions.

Read latest volume: Volume 16

Special issues: Amphibian special issue

Go to the Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust