102(3)_str31

 

ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 102, No. 3 (2015), p. 243–250
DOI 10.13080/z-a.2015.102.031

Long-term effect of tillage systems, straw and green manure combinations on soil organic matter

Vaclovas BOGUŽAS, Romutė MIKUČIONIENĖ, Alvyra ŠLEPETIENĖ, Aušra SINKEVIČIENĖ, Virginijus FEIZA, Vaida STEPONAVIČIENĖ, Aida ADAMAVIČIENĖ

Abstract

Nowadays the priority in agriculture is given to the soil tillage systems which enable reduction of organic matter decomposition. Our investigation was aimed to assess the long-term impact of reduced intensity tillage systems, straw and green manure combinations on soil organic matter quantity and quality. Since 1999, a long-term field experiment has been done at the Experimental Station of Aleksandras Stulginskis University (former Lithuanian University of Agriculture) at 54º52′50′′ N latitude and 23º49′41′′ E longitude. The results presented in this paper were obtained in the 12th and 14th years of investigations. The soil of the experimental site is Epieutric Endocalcaric Endogleyic Planosol. Continuous long-term (12 and 14 years) straw application increased soil organic carbon (SOC) content by 9.3% and 12.0% compared with the plots without straw. Reduced tillage systems without primary tillage (shallow rotovating before sowing, catch cropping for green manure with rotovating, no-tillage) were even more effective. Compared with conventional ploughing, SOC increased by 19.4% to 33.9%. These tillage systems increased soil quality too, since SOC stratification ratio between 0–10 and 10–20 cm layers increased by 1.14 till 1.21. Reduced tillage systems with primary tillage (shallow ploughing and shallow loosening) had no effect both on SOC and stratification process in the soil. SOC pools over the experimental years tended to increase by 9.3% and 11.6% in the treatments of long-term application of straw compared with the plots without straw. No-tillage and catch cropping for green manure with rotovating compared with conventional ploughing significantly increased the pools of organic carbon by 31.7% to 33.3% in the plots without straw and by 28.9% to 32.7% in the plots with straw. Continuous straw application increased the quantity of mobile humus substances by 22.7% compared to the plots without straw. Straw in combination with catch crop for green manure incorporation and rotovating and no-tillage increased mobile humus substances by 53.2% and 58.8% compared with conventional ploughing. Only long-term application of straw increased the quantity of mobile humic acids by 40.6% compared with the plots without straw. The rate of mobile humic acids from total amount of mobile humus substances in the treatments without straw amounted to 39.8%, while with straw this content increased to 45.6%. Reduced tillage systems without primary tillage had no significant effect on mobile humic acids but tended to increase soil organic matter quality.

Key words: conventional and reduced tillage, mobile humic acids, no-tillage, soil organic carbon.

Full text: 102_3_31str.pdf