Study

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This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

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Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

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Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Soil: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2008–2011 in a rainfed wheat-sunflower-pea field near Seville, Spain (same study as (6)), found similar amounts of organic matter and soil organisms in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage. Organic matter: Similar amounts of organic carbon were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (7–10 vs 6–9 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: Similar amounts of microbial biomass (measured as carbon) were found in soils with no tillage or reduced tillage (581–746 vs 740–958 mg C/kg soil). Methods: No tillage or reduced tillage was used on three plots each (20 x 9 m plots). A chisel plough (15–20 cm depth, every other year) and a disc harrow (5–7 cm depth) were used for reduced tillage. A seed drill was used for no tillage. More than 60% of crop residues were retained in all plots. Soil samples were collected in January 2011 (0–25 cm depth, five samples/plot).

     

  2. Soil: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2004–2011 in rainfed wheat-sunflower-pea fields near Seville, Spain (same study as (13,38)), found more organic matter in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of three comparisons, in medium-term plots (2004–2011, 0–5 cm depth: 11 vs 9 g C/kg soil), but no differences were found in short-term plots (2008–2011: 7–10 vs 7–9 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: Similar amounts of microbial biomass (measured as carbon) were found in soils with no tillage or conventional tillage (581–746 vs 604–858 mg C/kg soil). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (20 x 9 m plots), in each of two experiments: a short-term experiment (2008–2011), and a medium-term experiment (2004–2011). A mouldboard plough (25–30 cm depth), a cultivator (15–20 cm depth, two passes), and a disk harrow (15 cm depth) were used for conventional tillage. A seed drill was used for no tillage, and crop residues were retained (>60% cover). Soil samples were collected in January 2011 (0–25 cm depth, five samples/plot).

     

  3. Soil: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1991–2011 in rainfed wheat-sunflower-pea fields near Seville, Spain (same study as (16,37)), found more organic matter and more soil organisms in soils with twenty years of reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Organic matter: More organic carbon was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in two of three comparisons, in long-term plots (1991–2011, 0–10 cm depth: 13–14 vs 10–11 g C/kg soil), but no differences were found in short-term plots (2008–2011: 6–9 vs 7–9 g C/kg soil). Soil organisms: More microbial biomass (measured as carbon) was found in soils with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of three comparisons, in long-term plots (1991–2011, 0–5 cm depth: 580 vs 474 mg C/kg soil), but no differences were found in short-term plots (2008–2011: 740–958 vs 689–868 mg C/kg soil). Methods: Reduced tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each, in each of two experiments: a short-term experiment (2008–2011, 20 x 9 m plots), and a long-term experiment (1991–2011, 20 x 14 m plots). A mouldboard plough (25–30 cm depth), a cultivator (15–20 cm depth, two passes), and a disc harrow (15 cm depth) were used for conventional tillage. A chisel plough (15–20 cm depth, every other year) and a disc harrow (5–7 cm depth) were used for reduced tillage, and crop residues were retained (>60% cover). Soil samples were collected in January 2011 (0–25 cm depth, five samples/plot).

     

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