Soils represent a considerable part of the natural resources of Hungary. Consequently, rational land use and proper soil management – to guarantee normal soil functions – are important elements of sustainable (agricultural) development, having special importance both in the national economy and in environment protection.
The main soil fu
Society utilizes these functions in different ways (rate, method, efficiency) throughout history, depending on the given natural conditions and socio-economic circumstances. In many cases the character of the particular functions was not properly taken into consideration during the utilization of soil resources, and the misguided management resulted in their over-exploitation, decreasing efficiency of one or more soil functions, and – over a certain limit – serious environmental deterioration.
Soil resources are threatened by the following environmental stresses:
– soil degradation processes;
– extreme moisture regime;
– nutrient stresses (deficiency or toxicity);
– environmental pollution.
Environmental stresses caused by natural factors or human activities represent an increasing ecological threat to the biosphere, as well as a socio-economic risk for sustainable development, including rational land use and soil management.
The stresses are caused by the integrated impacts of various soil properties, which are the results of soil processes (mass and energy regimes, abiotic and biotic transport and transformation and their interactions) under the combined influences of soil forming factors. Consequently, the control of soil processes is a great challenge and the main task of soil science and soil management in sustainable development.
The efficient control of these processes necessitates the following consecutive steps:
• registration of facts and consequences (information on land and soil characteristics, land use, cropping pattern, applied agrotechnics, yields, with their spatial and temporal variability);
• evaluation of potential reasons (definition and quantification of soil processes, analysis of influencing factors and their mechanisms);
• assessment of the theoretical, real, rational and economic possibilities for the control of soil processes (including their risk-assessment and impact analysis);
• elaboration of efficient technologies for the „best” control alternatives (best management practice).
Scientifically based planning and implementation of sustainable land use and rational soil management to ensure desirable soil functions, without any undesirable environmental side-effects, require adequate soil information. In the last years such data were organized into a computer-based GIS soil database in Hungary, giving opportunities for the quantification, analysis, modelling and forecasting of the studied environmental stresses and for the efficient and scientifically based prevention, elimination or reduction of environmental stresses and their unfavourable ecological and economical consequences.
Special attention was paid to the assessment of various soil degradation processes, as: (1) soil erosion by water or wind; (2) soil acidification; (3) salinization and/or alkalization; (4) physical degradation (structure destruction, compaction); (5) extreme moisture regime: drought sensitivity and waterlogging hazard; (6) biological degradation; (7) unfavourable changes in the plant nutrient regime; (8) decrease of natural buffering capacity, (9) soil (and water) pollution.
The actions against undesirable environmental stresses and their unfavourable consequences are important elements of sustainable, efficient, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound crop production and agricultural development. These are joint tasks of the state, decision makers on various levels, the land owners, the land users and – to a certain extent – of each member of the society.
...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">he effect of reduced and conventional tillage systems on soil compaction and moisture content in two years with extreme weather conditions is introduced in this paper. The investigations were carried out in a long-term soil cultivation experiment set on a heavy textured meadow chernozem soil at the Karcag Research Institute. In 2010 the amount of precipitation during the vegetation period of winter wheat was 623.3 mm, 2.2 times higher than the 50-year average, while in 2011 this value was 188.7 mm giving only 65% of the average. The examinations were made after harvest on stubbles on 4 test plots in 5 replications in the case of each tillage system. Soil compaction was characterised by penetration resistance values, while the actual soil moisture contents were determined by gravimetry. The values of penetration resistance and soil moisture content of the cultivated soil layer were better in the case of reduced tillage under extreme precipitation conditions. It could be established that regular application of deep soil loosening is essential due to the formation of the unfavourable compact soil layer under 30 cm. Conventional tillage resulted in enhanced compaction under the depth of ploughing, the penetration resistance can reach the value of 4 MPa under wet, while even 8 MPa under dry soil status.
The effect of PRP-SOL soil conditional on soil compaction, moisture content and bulk density is studied in a long-term soil cultivation experiment from 1997 on a heavy textured meadow chernozem soil, in reduced and conventional tillage at Karcag Research Institute. Our investigations were made in the vegetation period of corn, in June and after... harvesting, on stubble. Soil compaction was measured with a penetrometer, the actual moisture content was determined by gravimetric method. The bulk density values of the regularly cultivated soil layer of 0–10 and 10–20 cm depths were defined from undisturbed soil samples. We established that after 3 years the application of the soil conditioner has positive effect on soil compaction and moisture status of the top layer in the reduced tillage system. We could not figure out this positive effect in the case of conventional tillage.
Our measurements were done in a soil conditioner experiment started in 2014 which was set in conventional tillage system at the Karcag Research Institute where a soil conditioner was used from 2010. Effect of two different soil conditioners on compaction, moisture content of the soil and on CO2-emission was studied. Measurements were... done after sowing of maize and millet, and on stubble after harvesting. It can be established that less degree of compaction was characteristic to the soil of the plots treated for several years with the soil conditioner during the vegetation period than in case of untreated plots. Higher CO2-emission values were observed on the plots treated for several years than on the control plots. This effect can’t be established in case of soil conditioners used for first time in this year.
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 det
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.
The effect of reduced and conventional tillage on soil compaction, soil moisture status and carbon-dioxide emission of the soil was studied on a meadow chernozem soil with high clay content in the soil cultivation experiment started in 1997 at Karcag Research Institute. Our investigations were done on stubbles after the harvest of winter wheat...and winter peas after the very droughty vegetation period of 2014/2015.
We established that the soil in both tillage systems was dry and compacted and the CO2-emission was very low. The positive effects of reduced tillage could be figured out only in the soil layer of 40–60 cm in the given weather conditions of that period.