Effects of tillage systems in dryland farming on near-surface water content during the late winter period
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Tillage systems modify, at least temporarily, some of the physical properties of soil, such as soil porosity. Tillage also has an indirect effect on soil water content throughout the growth cycle, particularly in areas with a Mediterranean climate. This paper presents the results of monitoring the water content in the topsoil (0–0.20 m) of three adjacent plots during February to May cycles starting in 1994–1995 and ending in 1998–1999. Each of the plots had a surface area of 2700 m2, an 8% slope and Calcic Cambisol soil. Starting in 1994, three different tillage systems were applied: conventional tillage, which is typical of the area (CT); minimum tillage (MT); and no-tillage (NT). Two vertical 200 mm TDR probes were permanently installed in each plot and measurements were taken every week. The results show that, under an NT system, the soil had significantly higher water content than the other two soil plots. However, this increased quantity of water did not denote increased crop production; on the contrary, these preliminary data point to a decrease in crop production.
CitationJosa, R.; Hereter, A. Effects of tillage systems in dryland farming on near-surface water content during the late winter period. "Soil and tiliage research", Juny 2005, vol. 82/2, núm. 82, p. 173-183.