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Effects of Tillage Methods on Soil Properties and Wheat Yield in Wheat-Cotton Rotation

Sadegh Afzalinia, Alidad Karami and Mohammad Ali Behaeen
Department of Agricultural Engineering Research, Fars Research and Education Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Organization, Shiraz, Iran
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(Received : July 28, 2020; Accepted : September 10, 2020)


In order to investigate the effect of conservation tillage on the soil properties and wheat yield, an experiment was performed with three treatments and four replications. The research was conducted in the form of a randomized complete block experimental design in Fars province, Iran. Three different tillage methods including conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT) and no-till (NT) were considered as treatments. Parameters such as soil moisture content, soil bulk density, soil organic carbon and wheat yield were measured. Data collected from this study were analyzed using SAS software and Duncan’s multiple range test was used to compare the treatment means. Results showed that wheat yield and soil bulk density were not affected by tillage treatment, while tillage methods had significant effect on soil moisture content and organic carbon. No-till increased soil moisture content by 13.5% compared to the conventional tillage, whereas there was no significant difference between reduced and conventional tillage methods for moisture content. No-till and reduced tillage increased organic carbon of topsoil (0-10 cm soil depth) compared to the conventional tillage by 41.1 and 21.4%, respectively, while there was no significant difference between tillage treatments from organic carbon of sub-soil (10-20 cm soil depth) point of view. Since conservation tillage methods did not decrease wheat yield and improved soil moisture content and organic carbon, these tillage methods could be recommended for wheat-cotton cropping system in semi-arid climatic condition of Iran.
Key words : : Conventional tillage, no-till, reduced tillage, soil properties, wheat yield