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Effect of ridge tillage, no-tillage, and conventional tillage on soil temperature, water use, and crop performance in cold and semi-arid areas in Northeast China

Effect of ridge tillage, no-tillage, and conventional tillage on soil temperature, water use, and crop performance in cold and semi-arid areas in Northeast China

Australian Journal of Soil Research 48(8): 737-744

In cold and semi-arid Northeast China, insufficient soil accumulative temperature and low water use efficiency (WUE) are the limiting factors for the further development of agriculture. Ridge tillage (RT) has been proposed to improve soil temperature and water conservation. Data from a 3-year field experiment conducted at two locations (Sujiatun and Lanxi) in Northeast China were used to compare RT, no-tillage (NT), and conventional tillage (CT) in a spring maize cropping system. At both sites, RT and NT significantly (P<0.05) increased mean soil temperature to 0.10 m depth, relative to CT, by 0.7-2.4 degrees C in the cold season during the spring maize growing stage. Mean soil moisture depletion in the RT treatment was greater by 1.2-4.1% (Sujiatun) and 0.6-3.0% (Lanxi) than in NT and CT, respectively. Mean maize yields over 3 years for RT were similar to 9.9% greater than for CT, whereas the yield advantage in the NT treatment was only slight. In Sujiatun, WUE was 8.0% and 8.6% greater under RT than under NT and CT, respectively, and in Lanxi, WUE was 7.7% and 9.6% greater under RT than NT and CT. Ridge tillage is recommended to the farmers to obtain higher crop yield and WUE in Northeast China.

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Accession: 066238164

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DOI: 10.1071/sr09155

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