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Short-Term Tillage and Manure Influences on Soil Structural Properties

Author(s): A. Safadoust | M. R. Mosaddeghi | A. A. Mahboubi | A. Nouroozi | Gh. Asadian

Journal: Journal of Science and Technology of Agriculture and Natural Resources
ISSN 1028-7655

Volume: 11;
Issue: 41;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Saturated hydraulic conductivity | Total porosity | Macro-porosity | Micro-porosity | Mean weight diameter | Tillage | Manure.

The increased potential for soil erosion and compaction due to continuous row crop production and intensive tillage is causing some concern and has led to the consideration of reduced tillage techniques as part of the solution. The objective of this study was to investigate the short-term (one-year) influences of different management practices on the physical properties of a sandy loam soil under corn crop. Treatments were the combinations of three tillage systems (no-till, NT; chisel plow, CP; and moldboard plow, MP) and three composted cattle manure rates [0, 30 and 60 ton (dry weight) ha-1]. The experiment was carried out in a split-plot design. Three replicates of the treatments were applied in a randomized block design. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks), total porosity (TP), macro-porosity (Macro-P), micro-porosity (Micro-P) of soil and mean weight diameter (MWD) of aggregates, were measured to a depth of 22.5 cm when 100 percent of the tassels appeared. Tillage and manure combination had significant effects on Log[ Ks], TP, Macro-P and Micro-P. The MP system increased pore space and continuity due to complete inversion and loosening, and as a result Ks, TP, Macro-P and Micro-P were higher than NT system. Higher Macro-P observed for CP might have caused higher Ks versus MP. Reduced tillage systems increased MWD and the increment of manure caused an increase in MWD over all tillage treatments. The results indicate short-term positive effects of manure application on soil pore size characteristics and aggregate stability under moldboard and chisel plowings in the region.

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