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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: REDUCING SOYBEAN YIELD LOSSES THROUGH GENETIC IMPROVEMENT Title: Effects of Conventional and Conservational Tillage Systems on Soybean Growth and Soil Microbial Populations

Authors
item Meng, Jie -
item Xu, Yanli -
item Li, Shuxian
item Li, Chunjie -
item Zhang, Xingyi -
item Chen, Pengyin -

Submitted to: Journal of Crop Improvement
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 7, 2010
Publication Date: November 15, 2010
Citation: Meng, J., Xu, Y., Li, S., Li, C., Zhang, X., Chen, P. 2010. Effects of Conventional and Conservational Tillage Systems on Soybean Growth and Soil Microbial Populations. Journal of Crop Improvement. 337-348.

Interpretive Summary: Tillage systems play an important role in crop growth and soil improvement. To determine the best tillage system for a dark clay soil type, this study was conducted to examine the influence of different tillage systems on soybean growth and microorganisms in soil. Results showed that plant height and biomass in terms of dry shoot and dry root weight under the no-till system were significantly reduced as compared to other tillage systems. The populations of microorganisms reached their highest levels at the blooming stage of soybean. The disease severity of root rot and the concentration of microorganisms in conservational tillage appeared to be higher than those of conventional systems. Based on these research findings, a conventional tillage with reduced ploughing frequency and intensity, and increased crop residue coverage would be a reasonable recommendation for soybean production on the dark clay soil type used in this study.

Technical Abstract: Tillage systems play an important role in crop growth and soil improvement. To determine the best tillage system for the dark soil area of northeast China with dark clay soil type (Millisol), this study was conducted to examine the influence of different tillage systems on soybean growth and soil microbial populations. Three conventional tillage systems and two conservational tillage systems were tested. Results showed that plant height and biomass in terms of dry shoot and dry root weight under the no-till system were significantly reduced as compared to other tillage systems. The populations of bacterial, fungal and actinomycete reached their highest levels at soybean at R2 (blooming stage). The disease severity of root rot and population dynamics of bacterial, fungal and actinomycete in conservational tillage appeared to be higher than those of conventional systems, whereas conventional tillage systems are associated with an increased populations of Fusarium spp. and Trichoderma spp. Based on these research findings, a conventional tillage with reduced ploughing frequency and intensity, and increased crop residue coverage would be a reasonable recommendation for soybean production in the dark soil area of northeast China.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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