Study

Effect of shallow tillage, moldboard plowing, straw management and compost addition on soil organic matter and nitrogen in a dryland barley/wheat-vetch rotation

  • Published source details Sommer R., Ryan J., Masri S., Singh M. & Diekmann J. (2011) Effect of shallow tillage, moldboard plowing, straw management and compost addition on soil organic matter and nitrogen in a dryland barley/wheat-vetch rotation. Soil and Tillage Research, 115–116, 39-46

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Soil: Use crop rotations

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Add compost to the soil

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Soil: Use crop rotations

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–2008 in rainfed farmland near Aleppo, Syria, found similar amounts of organic matter and nitrogen in soils with two-course or four-course crop rotations. Implementation options: Similar amounts of organic matter and nitrogen were found in soils with two-course or four-course crop rotations (organic matter: 10–18 g/kg soil; nitrogen: 0.76 g/kg soil). Methods: The crop rotations were vetch-barley (two-course) or vetch-barley-vetch-wheat (four-course). Each rotation was grown on twenty plots (25 x 25 m). Soil samples were collected in 2003 (0–30 cm depth) and 2008 (0–20 cm depth).

     

  2. Soil: Add compost to the soil

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–2008 in farmland near Aleppo, Syria, found more nitrogen, and sometimes found more organic matter, in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost. Organic matter: More organic matter was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost, in two of eight comparisons (2003, compost added every two years: 13–17 vs 10–12 g/kg soil). Nutrients: More nitrogen was found in soils with added compost, compared to soils without added compost (0.75–0.93 vs 0.71 g/kg soil). Implementation options: More nitrogen was found in soils with compost added every two years, compared to every four years (0.93 vs 0.75 g/kg soil). Methods: There were two plots (25 x 25 m) for each of eight treatments (10 Mg/ha dry weight of compost added every two or four years, with shallow or conventional tillage, and two-course or four-course crop rotations) and four controls (no compost, with shallow or conventional tillage, and two-course or four-course crop rotations). The compost was 75% plant residues, 20% sheep manure, and 5% soil. The crop rotations were vetch-barley (two-course) or vetch-barley-vetch-wheat (four-course). Soils were tilled with a mouldboard plough to a depth of 30 cm after cereal crops (conventional tillage) and/or with a cultivator to a depth of 12 cm after vetch (conventional and shallow tillage). Soils were sampled in 2003 (0–30 cm depth) and 2008 (0–20 cm depth).

     

  3. Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1996–2008 in a rainfed legume-cereal field near Aleppo, Syria, found more organic matter and fewer soil organisms in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic matter was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in four of 10 comparisons (2003: 12–17 vs 10–13 g/kg). Nutrients: Similar amounts of nitrogen were found in soils with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (0.76 g/kg soil). Soil organisms: Less microbial biomass (measured as carbon and nitrogen) was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in four of eight comparisons (carbon, 5–20 cm depth: 13–38 vs 90–91 mg/kg soil; nitrogen, 10–30 cm depth: 5–10 vs 19–28 mg/kg soil). Methods: The crop rotations were vetch–barley (two-course) or vetch–barley–vetch–wheat (four-course). Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on twenty plots each (25 x 25 m plots). A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth, after cereal crops) was used for conventional tillage. A cultivator (12 cm depth, after vetch) was used for both conventional and reduced tillage. All plots were fertilized in November. Soils were sampled in 2003 (0–30 cm depth) and 2008 (0–20 cm depth).

     

Output references

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