Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Strategies to Predict and Manipulate Responses of Crops and Crop Disease to Anticipated Changes of Carbon Dioxide, Ozone and Temperature

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: About the necessity of standardizing no-tillage research

Authors
item Derpsch, Rolf -
item Duiker, Sjoerd -
item Franzluebbers, Alan
item Gall, Christian -
item Koeller, K -
item Reicosky, Donald -

Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 23, 2012
Publication Date: September 25, 2013
Citation: Derpsch, R., Duiker, S., Franzluebbers, A.J., Gall, C., Koeller, K., Reicosky, D.C. 2013. About the necessity of standardizing no-tillage research. International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings. Paper 047, CD-ROM, Montevideo, Uruguay, 24-28 September 2012.

Interpretive Summary: No-tillage / zero tillage research has now been performed for more than half a century in many countries around the world but few efforts have been made to standardize research methodology. This has led to a situation where no-tillage research results obtained until now often can not be compared because quite different technologies, methodologies and definitions of no-tillage have been applied. Contradicting results are the consequence. This is because there is a different understanding in what no-tillage means and in general materials and methods used in an experiment are not descriptive enough to unveil the differences. In further cases people use the term no-tillage although a considerable amount of soil movement is performed at the seeding operation burying most crop residues. Therefore a widely accepted definition of no-tillage / zero tillage is needed and has to be agreed on. In this paper an attempt is made to discuss the problems associated with not adequately defining treatments and to the lack of a thorough description of what has been done in the section materials and methods in tillage / no-tillage research, leading to contradicting and confusing interpretations of research results. Often no-tillage research is performed without a systems approach and not applying all available knowledge about the technology. Among other problems this can lead to a yield drag not only in the first years of applying the technology but during the whole duration of the experiment resulting in lower yields of no-tillage, which would not have happened if the technology would have been properly implemented. It is concluded that a standardization of research methodologies in no-tillage is necessary to be able to compare results from different researchers, as well as different regions and countries and to avoid contradicting research results. Adequate experimental protocols need to be elaborated to avoid conflicting results.

Technical Abstract: No-tillage / zero tillage research has now been performed for more than half a century in many countries around the world but few efforts have been made to standardize research methodology. This has led to a situation where no-tillage research results obtained until now often can not be compared because quite different technologies, methodologies and definitions of no-tillage have been applied. Contradicting results are the consequence. This is because there is a different understanding in what no-tillage means and in general materials and methods used in an experiment are not descriptive enough to unveil the differences. In further cases people use the term no-tillage although a considerable amount of soil movement is performed at the seeding operation burying most crop residues. Therefore a widely accepted definition of no-tillage / zero tillage is needed and has to be agreed on. In this paper an attempt is made to discuss the problems associated with not adequately defining treatments and to the lack of a thorough description of what has been done in the section materials and methods in tillage / no-tillage research, leading to contradicting and confusing interpretations of research results. Often no-tillage research is performed without a systems approach and not applying all available knowledge about the technology. Among other problems this can lead to a yield drag not only in the first years of applying the technology but during the whole duration of the experiment resulting in lower yields of no-tillage, which would not have happened if the technology would have been properly implemented. It is concluded that a standardization of research methodologies in no-tillage is necessary to be able to compare results from different researchers, as well as different regions and countries and to avoid contradicting research results. Adequate experimental protocols need to be elaborated to avoid conflicting results.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page