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Evaluation of reduced tillage technologies in corn production based on soil and crop analyses
Published September 7, 2001
47-54

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...erioration, 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.

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Effects of Tillage Systems on Physical Status and Organic Matter Turnover of the Soil
Published November 26, 2003
42-45

The cultivation technology for those plant, that play a key role in arable land production need to be renewed in order to reduce production costs and to protect arable land. The modernisation of technologies can only be achieved by applying appropriate tillage systems. Our measurements were carried out on chernozem soil with lime deposits at th...e Látókép Experimental Station of the Center for Agricultural Sciences, Debrecen University, in long term tillage experiments set up in 1989. We examined the typical physical parameters, the albedo, field capacity, the bulk density of the soil, organic carbon content (humus %) and the measured pH-values in the water solution within the two tillage variations. We have also modelled nitrogen cycle formation in different treatments.
A significant difference occured between the albedos of the two soils, which may be the result of significant amounts of stem remaining on the surface in the case of the reduced tillage method. The yellow, waxy stem of maize reflects 21% of the sun’s rays, especially at the beginning of the vegetation period, when its decomposition has only just started. This delys the warming up in early spring, which delays the sowing time of maize and reduces evaporation. In the two tillage variations, the water management characteristics do not differ practically, the wilting point field capacity are in accordance. In reduced tillage methods, the so-called „plough-pan” can be well measured at 15-20 cm, while in winter ploughing it is at 30 cm. The humus % of the soil does not differ in the two tillage variations, but due to the difference in bulk density this means a different humus and organic nitrogen content. The organic nitrogen content is greater in the reduced tillage method. On the basis of pH value evaluations, we could not detect significant differences in the two tillage variations. The organic nitrogen content of areas where reduced tillage method was applied is higher than in areas where conventional winter ploughing was applied.

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New challenges in soil management
Published September 5, 2018
91-92
Soil management represents two important tasks that are harmonization of the soil protection with demands of the crop to be grown on the given land under prevailing farming condition. Further goals are to preserve and/or develop the soil physical, biological and chemical condition and to avoid the unfavourable changes of the soil biological a...ctivity and the soil structure. Classical authors emphasised the importance of creating proper seedbed for plants. In the physical approach, tillage was believed to play an important role in controlling soil processes. Consequently, the period of several centuries dominated by this approach is referred to as the era of crop-oriented tillage (Birkás et al., 2017). The overestimation of the importance of crop requirements resulted in damaging the soils, which inevitably led to turn to the soil-focused tillage. Since the first years of climate change, as the new trends have raised concern, tillage must be turned into a climate-focused effort with the aim of reducing climate-induced stresses through improving soil quality.
The development of soil management has always been determined by the economical background. At the same time, deteriorating site conditions have contributed to the conception of new tillage trends by forcing producers to find new solutions (e.g. dry farming theory in the past or adaptable tillage theory nowadays). Győrffy (2009) recited the most important keywords were listed in 2001 and that seemed to be important in the future of crop production. These keywords (endeavours) were as follows:
− Biofarming, organic farming, alternative farming, biodynamic farming, low input sustainable agriculture;
− Mid-tech farming, sustainable agriculture, soil conservation farming, no till farming, environmentally sound, environmentally friendly, diversity farming;
− Crop production system, integrated pest management, integrated farming, high-tech farming;
− Site specific production, site-specific technology, spatial variable technology, satellite farming;
− Precision farming.
Győrffy’s prognosis proved to be realistic and the efforts mentioned above have mostly been implemented. New challenges have also appeared in soil management in relation to the last decades. The most important endeavours for the future are:
1) Preserving climate-induced stresses endangering soils.
2) Turn to use climate mitigation soil tillage and crop production systems.
3) Applying soil management methods are adaptable to the different soil moisture content (over dried or wet may be quite common).
4) Use effectual water conservation tillage.
5) Use soil condition specific tillage depth and method.
6) Adapting the water and soil conservation methods in irrigation.
7) Preserving and improving soil organic matter content by tillage and crop production systems.
8) Considering that stubble residues are matter for soil protection, humus source and earthworm’ feed.
9) Site-specific adoption of green manure and cover crops.
10) Applying site-adopted (precision) fertilization and crop protection. Considering the development in agriculture, new endeavours will occur before long.
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Examination of the physical state of the soil under conventional and reduced tillage systems
Published February 10, 2013
183-186

...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.

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Comparative examination of the tillage systems of maize on meadow chernozem soil
Published July 24, 2014
21-24

Maize production plays a major role in the agriculture of Hungary. Maize yields were very variable in Hungary in the last few decades. Unpredictable purchase prices, periodical overproduction, the increasing occurrence of weather extremities, the uncertain profit producing ability, the soil degradation processes (physical, chemical and biologic...al degradation) and the high expenses are risk factors for producers. Due soil tillage, there is an opportunity to reduce these risks. Based on the experimental database of the Institute of Land Utilisation, Regional Development and Technology of the University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural and the KITE Plc., various cultivation systems were examined with maize (Zea mays L.) as indicator plant in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok country in 2012 and 2013. The sample area can be found in the outskirts of Kenderes on a meadow chernozem soil. On the examined plot, strip-tillage, subsoiling and moldboard ploughing were performed, each on 4.5 ha, respectively.

In general, our findings show, that strip-tillage and subsoiling can be alternative tillage systems beside moldboard ploughing on meadow chernozem soils in Hungary.

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Investigation of soils of stubbles of winter wheat and winter peas in conventional and reduced tillage systems
Published February 3, 2016
95-99

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.

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Department of Agrochemistry and Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environment Management, Centre of Agriculture and Applied Economic Sciences, University of Debrecen, 138 Böszörményi út, H-4032 Debrecen
Published November 3, 2010
53-59

Applying alternative soil cultivation methods based on reduced disturbance of the soil more favourable conditions can be created in order to increase the organic matter content of the soil and the availability of the nutrients for the crops. In complex soil tillage experiment – in 1997 was set on – at Karcag, as the element of the investiga...tion of soil reduced and conventional tillage systems. There is close correlation between the degree and intensity of CO2-emission from the soil and the structural state and organic matter content of the soil. In order to quantify the increased CO2-emission from soil due to soil preserving cultivation systems, in situ CO2-emission of soil was measured by means of an ANAGAS 98 infrared gas analyser. The soil type of the investigated plot is meadow chernozem solonetz in the deeper layers, a soil type that is characteristic
for the Trans-Tisza Region of Hungary. In this paper the results gained from the measurement on different stubbles are published, as we consider stubbles the most suitable state when the effects of different soil cultivation systems on the microbiological activity of the soil can be compared. Experimental data provided information about the length of the time period when CO2 emission increasing effects of soil cultivation are observable. Studying the effect of different soil cultivation methods on the CO2 emission from chernozem soil is indisputably actual and needs more efforts as it can contribute to develop a more environmental friendly agricultural production. The main goal of these measurements was to determine the effect of soil cultivation technologies and certain agrotechnical elements on the factors of the soil carbon cycle.

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Effect of PRPSOL soil conditioner on the physical status of the soil in conventional and reduced tillage systems
Published February 25, 2014
109-113

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.

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Evaluation of striptillage and conventional tillage in maize production
Published April 23, 2014
37-40

Tillage changes soil properties and the way how the environment affects those properties. Soil properties and environment determine the rate of water movement in liquid and gaseous form into and out of soil. Based on the experimental database of the Institute of Land Utilisation, Regional Development and Technology of the University of Debrecen..., Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management and the KITE PLC, various cultivation systems were examined with maize (Zea mays L.) as indicator plant in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county. The sample area can be found in the outskirts of Kenderes on a meadow chernozem soil. On the examined plot, strip-tillage, subsoiling and moldboard ploughing were performed, each on 4.5 ha, respectively. The purpose of the present study is to compare these cultivation systems according to the soil- and maize kernel moisture content and to the yield based on the years of 2012 and 2013.

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Economic questions of maize production on different soil types
Published November 13, 2012
289-292

The requirements and objective of cultivation are in constant change. For example, different cultivation systems are developed for the purpose of soil protection, the preservation of its moisture content and on soils with various precipitation supply or production site conditions. Traditionally, one of the most important cultivation aims is cro...p needs. Further cost saving in fertilisation and crop protection can only be achieved by reducing the quality and quantity of production or it cannot be achieved at all. Furthermore, the costs can be significantly reduced by means of the rationalisation of cultivation. Energy and working time demand can also be notably reduced if ploughing is left out from the conventional tillage method. The key requirement of economicalness is to perform the cultivation at the optimal date, moisture level and the lowest possible cost.
Within production costs, the cost of cultivation is between 3–17%, while they are between 8–36% within machinery costs. It is the vital condition the usability of each technological method to progressively reduce costs. Our evaluation work was carried out with the consideration of the yield data obtained from cooperating farms and the experiment database of the Institute for Land Utilisation, Regional Development and Technology of the Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Sciences of the University of Debrecen. Three technological methods (ploughing, heavy cultivator and loosening tillage) were used on several soil types which differ from in terms of cultivability (chernozem, sandy and sandy clay soils) from the economic/economical aspect. We examined the sectoral cost/income relation of maize production as an indicator plant. The maize price during the analytical period was 45 thousand HUF per t. On chernozem soils, the production of maize can be carried out on high income level, while maize production on sandy soils has a huge risk factor. The role of cultivation is the highest on high plasicity soils, since they have a huge energy
demand and the there is a short amount of time available for each procedure in most cases.

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CO2 emission of the soil on barley stubble
Published October 20, 2009
95-102

In the last decades the physical and biological status of the soils in Hungary significantly decreased. The degree and intensity of CO2-production of the soil is in close correlation to its structural status and organic matter content. In a complex soil tillage experiment at Karcag in situ measurements have been carried out since 200...2 in order to determine the CO2-emission of the soil. Carbon-dioxide emission of the soil in the cases of conventional tillage and reduced cultivation system was analysed in a long-term cultivation experiment. The measurements were carried out after the harvest of the barley, thus root respiration was excluded. For the spatial delimitation of the measuring area a newly developed frame+bowl set was used. Based on measurements, significant differences between cultivation systems can be recognized due to the soil structure changes and its effects

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The effect of soil cultivation systems on organic matter distribution in different grain size fractions of the soil based on three years of experience
Published May 23, 2006
22-30

Changes in the physical distribution (particle size and the state stability against decomposition) of the organic carbon pool in tilled layers of Hungarian field soil under different tillage treatments were studied. Three years after starting the experiment, soil samples were fractionated (they were taken in March 2005) by their particle size a...nd density. The treatments caused well measurable, significant effects on two fractions of intra-microaggregate organic matter (53-250μm particle-sized, well and less decomposition-resistant pools) and onto their relative rate in the organic carbon pool of the whole soil.
Different tillage treatments caused different distributions in the organic matter fractions. In regularly intensely cultivated soils evolve different physical structure, particle size-distribution, which reduce the soil fertility and its resistance against outer impacts.

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