Study

Straw management and tillage effects on soil water storage under field conditions

  • Published source details Jalota S.K., Khera R. & Chahal S.S. (2001) Straw management and tillage effects on soil water storage under field conditions. Soil Use and Management, 17, 282-287

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Amend the soil with fresh plant material or crop remains

Action Link
Soil Fertility

Add mulch to crops

Action Link
Soil Fertility

Change tillage practices

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Amend the soil with fresh plant material or crop remains

    A randomized, replicated experiment in 1996-1998 on a sandy, silty and clay soil in Ludhiana, India (Jalota et al. 2001) found that straw incorporation was better in rain-free conditions (26.7 cm) and rainy conditions (22.2 cm) in medium coarse-textured soils compared to untreated soil (24.2 and 21.1 cm). In the coarsest soil, tillage and straw mulching did not increase soil water storage any more than untreated soil. Below the tillage and straw incorporation treatments, soil water content was higher (0.1318 and 0.1314 m3 water/m-3 soil, respectively) relative to the untreated and mulched soils (0.1059 and 0.1180 m3/m3). There were four treatments on three soil types: untreated, tilled to 8 cm depth, straw mulch (rice Oryza sativa in September and wheat Triticum aestivum in April) at 6 t/ha, and straw incorporation. The treatments were replicated three times in 2.5 x 3.5 m, 5 x 3 m and 6 x 4 m plots, for fine, medium coarse, and coarse soil respectively. Mechanical weeding or herbicides (glyphosate) kept plots weed free. Soil water content was measured every 15-20 days.

     

  2. Add mulch to crops

    A randomized, replicated experiment, in 1996-1998 on sandy, silty and clay soil in Ludhiana, India (Jalota et al. 2001) found higher soil moisture storage during dry conditions by applying straw mulch, (30.3 mm water/20 cm soil) compared to untreated coarse- and medium-textured soils (28.8 cm). Straw incorporation was better in rain-free conditions (26.7 cm) and rainy conditions (22.2 cm) in medium coarse-textured soils compared to untreated soil (24.2 and 21.1 cm). In the coarsest soil, tillage and straw mulching did not increase soil water storage any more than untreated soil. Below the tillage and straw incorporation treatments, soil water content was higher (0.1318 and 0.1314 m3 water/m-3 soil, respectively) relative to the untreated and mulched soils (0.1059 and 0.1180 m3/m3). There were four treatments on three soil types: untreated, tilled to 8 cm depth, straw mulch (rice Oryza sativa in September and wheat Triticum aestivum in April) at 6 t/ha, and straw incorporation. The treatments were replicated three times in 2.5 x 3.5 m, 5 x 3 m and 6 x 4 m plots, for fine, medium coarse, and coarse soil respectively. Mechanical weeding or herbicides (glyphosate) kept plots weed free. Soil water content was measured every 15-20 days.

     

  3. Change tillage practices

    A randomized, replicated experiment in 1996-1998 on a sandy, silty and clay soil in Ludhiana, India (Jalota et al. 2001) found that tillage and straw mulching had no effect on soil water storage in the coarsest soil. Soil water content was higher in tilled soil (0.131 m3 water/m3) and soil with straw mulch (0.132 m3 water/m3 soil) relative to untreated and mulched soils (0.106 and 0.118 m3 water/m3) across all three soil types. Tillage did not increase soil water content to the same extent as straw mulch in coarse- to medium-textured soils. The study tested four treatments: untreated, tilled to 8 cm-depth, straw mulch (rice Oryza sativa in September and wheat Triticum aestivum in April) 6 t/ha, and straw incorporation. The treatments were replicated three times on each of three soil types in 2.5 x 3.5 m, 5 x 3 m, and 6 x 4 m plots. Mechanical weeding or herbicides (glyphosate) kept plots weed free. Soil water content was measured every 15-20 days below the tillage and straw incorporation layer.

     

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of 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