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Effects of conservation agriculture on physicochemical soil health in 20 maize‐based trials in different agro‐ecological regions across Mexico

Creator: Fonteyne, S.
Creator: Burgueño, J.
Creator: Albarran Contreras, B.A.
Creator: Andrio-Enríquez, E.
Creator: Castillo Villaseñor, L.
Creator: Enyanche Velázquez, F.
Creator: Escobedo Cruz, H.
Creator: Espidio Balbuena, J.
Creator: Espinosa Solorio, A.
Creator: Garcia Meza, P.
Creator: González Galindo, F.
Creator: González Regalado, J.
Creator: Govaerts, B.
Creator: López Durante, D.
Creator: López Ramírez, A.
Creator: Martinez Gamiño, M.A.
Creator: Martínez Hernández, F.
Creator: Mora Gutiérrez, M.
Creator: Nieves Navarro, A.I.
Creator: Noriega, L.
Creator: Nuñez, O.
Creator: Osorio Alcalá, L.
Creator: Piedra Constantino, R. de la
Creator: Ponce Lira, B.
Creator: Rivas Jacobo, I.C.
Creator: Saldivia Tejeda, A.
Creator: Tapia Moo, C.A.
Creator: Tapia Naranjo, A.
Creator: Uribe Guerrero, M.A.
Creator: Vilchis Ramos, R.
Creator: Villa Alcántara, J.
Creator: Verhulst, N.
Year: 2021
Language: English
Publisher: Wiley
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose
Type: Article
Country focus: Mexico
Place of Publication: Sussex (United Kingdom)
Pages: 2242-2256
Issue: 6
Volume: 32
DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3894
Keywords: Soil Cover
Description: Maize (Zea mays L.) is Mexico's primary staple food, but the Country's degrading soils and climate variability limit its productivity. Conservation agriculture (CA), a management technique that combines minimal tillage, permanent soil cover, and crop diversification, could reduce soil degradation and help improve soil health. There is however a lack of information about the effects of CA on soil health in the diverse agroecological conditions in Mexico. This study reports results of a field trial network established to adapt CA to Mexico's diverse cropping systems and local conditions. Physicochemical soil health, also referred to as soil quality, was studied in 20 trials in agro‐ecologies ranging from handplanted traditional systems to intensive irrigated systems, initiated between 1991 and 2016. Soil in CA was compared to the local conventional practice (CP), which commonly involves tillage, residue removal, and continuous maize production. Across the sites, organic matter and nitrates were higher in the top (0–5 cm) layer of soil and soil aggregate stability was greater under CA than under CPs. For other soil health parameters, such as nutrient content, pH or penetration resistance, the effects of management varied widely across sites and soil types and most were determined more by local soil type than by management. CA increased maize yields at most sites and on average by 0.85 ± 1.80 t ha−1. Given the significant variation across agro‐ecologies, local adaptive trials are important to assess the effects of CA on soil health and fit the practice to local conditions.
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ISSN: 1099-145X
Journal: Land Degradation and Development

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