Evaluation of reduced tillage technologies in corn production based on soil and crop analyses47-54Views:120
Despite new cultivation methods, the proportion of conventionally cultivated land is still very high in Hungary.
Although these technologies demand more time, labour and fuel, they are still attractive to users because they require less professional skill and simple machinery. In Hungary, conventional tillage methods usually lead to soil deterioration, soil compaction and a decrease in organic content. These side effects have caused gradually strengthening economic and environmental problems.
The technologies for those plants which are dominant on Hungarian arable lands use (winter wheat, maize, sunflower and barley) need to be improved both in the interest of environmental protection and the reduction of cultivation costs.
The Department of Land Use at Debrecen University is cooperating with KITE Sc. to carry out soil tillage experiments at two pilot locations to prove tillage technologies already used in the USA.
The aim of our examination is to adapt new technological developments and machinery, and to improve them on Hungarian soil for local environmental conditions. With these improved machines, the field growing of plants could be executed by less manipulation and better suited to economic and environmental needs. The most significant task is to investigate and improve the conventional cultivation replacing, new soil-protecting tillage technologies, and to apply no-till and mulch tillage systems.
On the basis of the experiments’ survey data, we established that the looseness and moisture content of the soil using reduced tillage is more favourable than after using conventional technologies. The results of no-till and shallow spring tillage are behind those of winter plough or disk ripper cultivation in corn yield and production elements.
To preserve moisture content in the soil, the ground clearing and sowing while simultaneously performing no-till method presents the most favourable results. The surplus moisture gained using no-till technology is equal to 40 mm precipitation.
Regarding the yield of winter wheat we established that the tillage methods do not affect plant yield. Both disk ripper and conventional disc cultivation showed nearly the same harvest results (5.55 or 5.5 t/ha), where the difference is statistically hardly verifiable from the no-till method. From the individual production of corn and the number of plants planted in unit area, calculated results prove that no significant difference can be detected between the production of winter plough and disk ripper technology. Although the yield achieved with the no-till method is less than with the previously mentioned technologies, the difference is only 9-10%. We received the lowest production at shallow spring tillage.
Evaluations have shown a 1.1 t/ha (13%) difference in the yield of maize, between winter tillage and the disk ripper method, in this case the traditional method resulted in higher yield. In winter tillage, the yield of maize was 1.9-2.1 t/ha (23-25%) higher than in the case of direct sowing and cultivator treatments. No significant difference could be noted between the yields of direct sowing and cultivator treatments.
Our research so far has proved the industrial application of reduced tillage methods in crop cultivation technologies.
Effect of tillage practices, fertilizer treatments and crop rotation on yield of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids43-48Views:159
This research was conducted at the University of Debrecen Látókép Research Station and is part of an ongoing long-term polyfactorial experiment. The impact of three tillage systems (Mouldboard plowing-MT, Strip tillage-ST, Ripper tillage-RT) and two levels of fertilizer treatments (N80 kg ha-1, N160 kg ha-1) along with a control (N0 kg ha-1) on the yield of maize hybrids (Armagnac- FAO 490 & Loupiac-FAO 380) cultivated in rotation with winter wheat was evaluated during a two-year period (2017–2018).
Amongst the three tillage treatments evaluated, ripper tillage (RT) had the highest average yield (10.14 t ha-1) followed by mouldboard tillage (MT) and strip tillage (ST) with 9.84 and 9.21 t ha-1 respectively. Yield difference between RT and MT was not significant (P>0.05), as compared to ST (P<0.05). Soil moisture content varied significantly with tillage practices and was highest in ST, followed by RT and MT (ST>RT>MT). Yield of RT was 7–9% higher than MT in monoculture plots, while MT reign superior in biculture plots (monoculture: RT>MT>ST; biculture: MT>RT>ST).
A positive interaction between tillage and fertilization was observed, with higher yield variation (CV=40.70) in the non-fertilized (N0) plots, compared to those which received the N80 (CV=19.50) and N160 kg ha-1 (CV=11.59) treatments.
Incremental yield gain from increase fertilizer dosages was significantly higher in monoculture, compared to biculture. There was no significant difference in yield between N160 and N80 in the biculture plots (12.29 vs 12.02 t ha-1). However, in monoculture plots, N160 yield was 23% higher than the N80 kg ha-1 (N160=11.74 vs N80=9.56 t ha-1).
Mean yield of maize in rotation with winter wheat was 28% (2.47 tons) higher than monoculture maize. The greatest benefit of crop rotation was observed in the control plots (N0) with an incremental yield gain of 4.39 tons ha-1 over monculture maize (9.92 vs 5.43 t ha-1).
Yield increased with higher fertilizer dosages in irrigated plots. Fertilizer application greatly increased the yield of maize and accounted for 48.9% of yield variances. The highest yield (11.92 t ha-1) was obtained with N160 kg ha-1 treatment, followed by N80 kg ha-1 (10.38 t ha-1) and N0 kg ha-1 (6.89 t ha-1) respectively.
Overall mean yield difference between the two hybrids was not statistically significant, however, yield of FAO 380 was 3.9% higher (9.06 vs. 8.72 t ha-1) than FAO 490 in monoculture plots, while in biculture plots, FAO 490 was 4.1% higher than FAO 380.
Average yield in 2018 was 13.6% (1.24 t ha-1) higher than 2017 for the same set of agrotechnical inputs, thus, highlighting the significant effect of cropyear.
Armagnac (FAO 490) cultivated in rotation with winter wheat, under ripper tillage and N80 kg ha-1 is the best combination of treatments for optimum yield.