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Tillage and residue management effects on soil quality in maize and wheat systems in the highlands of Central Mexico

Author: Van Veelen, Arjen
Year: 2008
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/548
Abstract: Intensively cropped highlands areas in the tropics and sub-tropics are susceptible to erosion and declining soil fertility resulting in unsustainable agriculture. Conservation Agriculture has been proposed as an alternative to maize wheat production systems in these agro-ecological zones. A field experiment at CIMMYT's experimental station in Toluca (Mexico) comparing permanent raised beds and conventional tilled beds with different residues management under rain fed conditions was started in 2000. The objective of the research project carried out as part of my internship at CIMMYT was to evaluate the effect of different management practices on chemical and physical soil properties. The challenge was to do this for a trial that was originally designed for technology development and not for scientific research. As a consequence the statistical design was not optimal. ANOVA applied to the whole set of treatments revealed that K concentrations were higher in permanent beds. In addition C was higher in the soils with permanent beds with wheat as crop. Permanent beds showed higher water stable aggregates (wet-sieving) compared to conventionally tilled beds. PCA analysis was performed to assess the underlying structure of the physicochemical variables influenced by tillage, residues and crop. The PC 1 and PC2 of the top-layer (0-5 cm) and sub-layer (5-20 cm) separated conventionally tilled beds from semi- and permanent beds and PC3 separated permanent beds from semipermanent and conventionally tilled beds. These clear separations suggest that tillage and residue management have an effect on soil processes. The research indicates that permanent raised beds increases mainly soil physical soil quality and can be a sustainable production alternative for the (sub )tropic highlands in Mexico when looking at it from a soil quality perspective. Recommendations for future work include recommendations for statistical analyses and comparison of soil quality and yield data to evaluate the feasibility of different management systems in a more unbiased manner.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: CIMMYT
Publisher: Wageningen University
Serie: Intership Report
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 CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org 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: Report
Region: North America
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: 32 pages
Keywords: Permanent Beds
Keywords: Semi-Permanent Beds
Keywords: Chemical Soil Parameters
Serie Number: SOQ 70436
Country of Focus: Mexico
Agrovoc: ZERO TILLAGE
Agrovoc: CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE
Agrovoc: WHEAT
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Agrovoc: SOIL QUALITY
Agrovoc: SOIL CHEMICOPHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Agrovoc: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION
Agrovoc: ZERO TILLAGE
Agrovoc: CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE
Agrovoc: WHEAT
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Agrovoc: SOIL QUALITY
Agrovoc: SOIL CHEMICOPHYSICAL PROPERTIES
Agrovoc: CHEMICAL COMPOSITION


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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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