Soil characteristics and crop yields under different tillage techniques

https://doi.org/10.17221/567/2015-PSECitation:Mühlbachová G., Kusá H., Růžek P. (2015): Soil characteristics and crop yields under different tillage techniques. Plant Soil Environ., 61: 566-572.
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The field experiment with different soil tillage treatments has been carried out in Prague-Ruzyně locality (Czech Republic) since 1995. Data of two growing cycles in the years 2007–2010 and 2011–2014 were evaluated. Tillage technique was decisive for changes in soil characteristics and crop yields. Bulk density, organic carbon (Corg) and microbial biomass C (Cmic) were more equilibrated throughout all tested soil layers (0–0.1; 0.1–0.2 and 0.2–0.3 m) in conventional tillage (CT). In reduced tillage (RT) and no-tillage (NT) treatments significant accumulation of Corg and increase of Cmic in the surface layer were found, compared to CT. No significant differences in Corg and Cmic between two growing cycles were determined; however, mostly higher values were obtained in the top layer of NT during the second growing period. Higher bulk density under conservation tillage techniques did not negatively affect soil characteristics and should be taken in consideration for data evaluation as it can alter interpretation of their changes in the soil profile. Crop yields were comparable in CT and RT. Yield decrease in NT was mostly observed for winter wheat and pea. Beneficial effects of RT and NT conserving soil moisture on crop yield were not observed in dry years.
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