The impact of the conservation tillage “maize into grass cover” on reducing the soil loss due to erosion

https://doi.org/10.17221/25/2019-SWRCitation:Procházková E., Kincl D., Kabelka D., Vopravil J., Nerušil P., Menšík L., Barták V. (2020): The impact of the conservation tillage “maize into grass cover” on reducing the soil loss due to erosion. Soil & Water Res., 15: 158-165.
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Maize (Zea mays L.) belongs among the most important agriculture crops all over the world. The conventional way of cultivating maize with wide row spacing does not have a soil conservation effect and significantly contributes to water erosion and surface run-off. In our research, we tested the soil conservation technology (strip-till into grass cover) which took place in 2016 and 2017 in the location of Central Bohemia. The impact of a strip-till system of maize into grass cover on reducing the soil loss due to erosion was verified on the area of 21 m2 using a rainfall simulator. During the research, 70 measurements were realised. The strip-till was compared to fallow land, conventional cultivation and no-till methods. Profound differences were found in the soil loss between the treatments. There was a decrease in the soil loss of about 98% in the strip-till compared to the conventional cultivation. Moreover, the surface run-off was reduced by 79%. The ANCOVA (analysis of covariance) models of the log-transformed soil loss on the surface run-off and treatment were highly significant (P < 10–15). The measurement results clearly demonstrate the positive effect of the strip-till into the grass on the surface run-off and soil loss. This positive soil conservation effect was observed even in springtime, as well as the rest of the season. Using a grass cover for establishing the maize significantly contributes to the soil conservation on the land threatened by erosion and offers farmers a suitable way of farming when growing maize. Strip-tilling is a technology that has great potential in sustainable farming.

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