Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2003
Publication Date: 7/14/2003
Citation: Ventura, E., Norton, L.D., Brown, G., Ramsier, C. A new tillage system to conserve soil and water while overcoming some of the problems of no-tillage. International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings. 2003. p. 1313-1318.
Technical Abstract: No-till agriculture has been a proven system to control soil erosion. Adoption of no-till has been limited for a number of reasons. Although it functions well in many soil and climatic situations, the system can be improved with new technologies. The objective of this paper is to present a new approach to combine no-till technology and incorporate new technologies to make the system function better. The technology includes modification of machinery, amending the soils through chemistry and microbiology to affect the physical properties of the soil and increase water use efficiency. The equipment includes the use of a modified no-till planter with equipment to reduce compaction and precisely place seeds and nutrients. The chemistry modification is by the surface addition of gypsum, which released electrolytes to rainwater to prevent surface sealing and prevent cracking. The biological modification is by adding a bio-stimulant which increases microbial activity in the rhizosphere. Compaction is significantly less as a result of the combination of mechanical, chemical and biological approaches to improving the environment for rooting. Data show that the bulk density was reduced from 1.4 Mg.m-3 to 1.2 Mg.m-3. Soil resistance, as measured by an uncompressed test, was reduced from an average of 100 kg to only 25 kg when the new system was used after one crop season. The system maintains the same amount of residue compared to convention no-tillage agriculture. This new system is a viable alternative to conventional no-till systems and can improve profitability for farmers and aid in the adoption of soil and water conservation systems while increasing yields.