Effects of Different Tillage and Straw Management Systems on Soil Aggregation and Crop Yield in Rainfed Loess Plateau Tillage and straw management impact on soil properties

Main Article Content

Stephen Yeboah Shirley Lamptey Renzhi Zhang


Soil aggregation may be affected by soil tillage and crop rotation in dryland areas. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different combinations of tillage and straw application on soil aggregation in the soil aggregate fractions after fifteen years of spring wheat–field pea rotation. Experimental work included the following treatments: conventional tillage with straw removed (T), no–till with straw removed (NT), no?till with straw retention on the soil surface (NTS) and conventional tillage with straw incorporated (TS). Soil samples were collected to depths of 0–5 cm, 5–10 cm and 10–30 cm from five points in each plot after harvest of the crop in 2015. Wet–sieving method was used to separate four classes of aggregates, named as large macroaggregate (>2000 ?m), small macroaggregate (250–2000 ?m), microaggregate (53–250?m) and silt and clay (<53 ?m). The results showed that compare with T treatment, all conservation tillage methods significantly reduced soil bulk density and increased total porosity. NTS improved soil saturated hydraulic conductivity significantly at 0-30cm. In surface soil (0–10 cm) NTS and TS treatments increased mean weight diameter (MWD) by 19.23% and 12.52% compared with T treatment, respectively. The aggregate content (?0.25 mm), Mean weight diameter (MWD), Geometric mean diameter (GMD) of the mechanical stable aggregates had significant positive correlation with crop yields. The result of this study suggests that NTS in Lossiah soils may be a better way to enhance soil productivity and improve soil C sequestration potential.  


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Yeboah, S., Lamptey, S., & Zhang, R. (2018). Effects of Different Tillage and Straw Management Systems on Soil Aggregation and Crop Yield in Rainfed Loess Plateau. Advances in Agricultural Science, 6(3), 112-122. Retrieved from http://aaasjournal.org/submission/index.php/aaas/article/view/91


Ankeny MD, Kaspar TC, and Horton R. 1990. Characterization of tillage and traffic effect on unconfined infiltration measurements. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:s837–s840
Arihara, J. 2000. Cropping systems and the mechanisms of nutrient uptake. National
Agricultural Research Centre, Kannondai, Tsukuba, Japan. Pp. 1-20.
Badal?´kova´ B, and Hruby´ J. 2006. Influence of minimum soil tillage on development of soil structure. In: Soil management for sustainability. Adv Geoecology 38:430–435
Blanco–Canqui, H. and Lal, R. 2007. Soil structure and organic carbon relationships following 10 years of wheat straw management in no-till. Soil and Tillage Research 95: 240 ? 254.
Bottenberg, H. Masiunas, J. and Eastman, C. (1999). Strip tillage reduces yield loss of snapbean planted in rye mulch. HortTechnology 9:235-240.
Badal?´kova´ B, and Kn?a´kal Z. 2000. Effect of different tillage systems for winter wheat on physical properties of soil. In: CD ISTRO-Conference 2000, Tillage at the Threshold of the 21st Century: Looking Ahead, Texas, USA
Bernal B, McKinley D C, Hungate B A, White P M, Mozdzer T J, Megonigal J P 2016. Limits to soil carbon stability; Deep, ancient soil carbon decomposition stimulated by new labile organic inputs. Soil Biology Biochemistry 98. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2016.04.007
Blevins R L, Thomas G W, and Smith M S. 1983. Changes in soil properties after 10 years continuous non-tilled and conventionally tilled corn. Soil and Tillage Research, 3(2):135-146.
Chen bei, and Zhang Ren-zhi. 2004. Effects of no-tillage and mulch on soil microbial quantity and composition. Journal of Gansu agricultural university: 39(6):634-638.
Cai Li-qun, Qi Peng, and Zhang Ren-zhi. 2009. Effects of different conservation tillage measures on soil organic carbon pool in two sequence rotation systems of spring wheat and peas. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture, 17(1):1-6.
Carter, M.R. 1993. Soil sampling and methods of analysis, Canadian Society of Soil Science, Lewis Publisher London, 823 pp.
Cai Li-qun, Luo Zhu-zhu, and Zhang Ren-zhi. 2012. Effect of Different Tillage Methods on Soil Water Retention and Infiltration Capability of Rainfed Field. Journal of desert research, 32(5):1362-1368.
Cai Li-qun, Qi Peng, and Zhang Ren-zhi. 2008. Effects of Conservation Tillage Measures on Soil Aggregates Stability and Soil Organ Carbon in Two Sequence Rotation System with Spring Wheat and Fie1d Pea. Journal of Soil and water Conservation, 22(2): 141-145.
Chinese academy of sciences. 1978. Nanjing institute of soil physics laboratory. Soil physical property measurement. Bei Jing: Science press.
Chan K Y, and Heenan D P 1996. Effect of tillage and stubble management on soil water storage, crop growth and yield in a wheat-lupin rotation in southern NSW. Crop and Pasture Science, 47(3): 479-488.
Diaz-Zorita M, Grove HJ, Murdock L, Herberck J, and Perfect E 2004. Soil structural disturbance effects on crop yields and soil properties in a no-till production system. Agron J 96:1651–1659
G??b T., B. and Kulig, 2008. Effect of mulch and tillage system on soil porosity under wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Soil Tillage Res., 99 (2):169-178.
Grant, C., S. Karl and B. Irvine. 2004. Cropping systems impacts on nitrogen availability to plants. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Brandon Research Centre. Pp. 1-6.
Howarth, W.R. 2005. The importance of soil organic matter in the fertility of organic matter production systems. Western Nutrient Management Conference 6: 244-249.
Huang Gao-bao, Luo Zhu-zhu and Xin Ping. 2007. Effects of Different Tillage Measures on Infiltration Characteristics in the Semi-arid Area of the West Loess Plateau. Bulletin of Soil and Water Conservation,27 (6):5-9.
Huang Gao-bao,Guo Qing-yi, and Zhang Ren-zhi 2006. Effects of conservation tillage on soil moisture and crop yield in a phased rotation system with spring wheat and field pea in dryland. Acta ecologica sinica; 26(4): 1176-1185.
Khurshid K., Iqbal, M. Arif, M.S., and Nawaz. A. 2006. Effect of tillage and mulch on soil physical properties and growth of maize. Int. J. Agric. Biol., 5:593-600.
Liu Ming-xiang, Liu Guo-bing, and Bu Chong-feng. 2002. Experimental Study on Soil In filtration Characteristics Using Disc Permeameter. Transactions of the CSAE,18(4):54-58.

Li Han,Zhang Peng, and Jia Zhi-kuang 2012. Effects of straw mulching treatment on characteristics of soil aggregates in Weibei dryland. Agricultural Research in the Arid Areas, 30(2): 27-33.
Lu Jin-wei, and Li Lu-bin. 2002. Advance in Soil Aggregate Study. Research of Soil and water Conservation,9(1):81-85.
Mazurak, A. P. 1950. Effect of gaseous phase on water-stable synthetic aggregates. Soil Science,69(2):135-148.
Obalum, S.E. and M.E. Obi. 2010. Physical properties of a sandy loam Ultisol as affected by tillage-mulch management practices and cropping systems. Soil and Tillage Research 108: 30-36.
Page K, Dang Y, and Dalal R 2013. Impacts of conservation tillage on soil quality, including soil-borne crop diseases, with a focus on semi-arid grain cropping systems. Australasian Plant Pathology: 1-15.
Singh B, Chanasyk D S, Mcgill W B, Nyborg M P K 1994. Residue and tillage management effects on soil properties of typic Cryoboroll under continuous barley. Soil and Tillage Res 32s:117–133
Stellin F, Gavinelli F, Stevanato P, Concheri G, Squartini A, Paoletti M G 2017. Effects of different concentrations of glyphosate (Roundup 360®) on earthworms (Octodrilus complanatus, Lumbricus terrestris and Aporrectodea caliginosa) in vineyards in the North-East of Italy. Applied Soil Ecology. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2017.07.028
Tisdall J M, Adem H H 1986. Effect of water content of soil and tillage on size-distribution of aggregates and infiltration. Aust J Exp Agric 26(2):193–195
Van Bavel CH M 1949. Mean weight-diameter of soil aggregates as a statistical index of aggregation. Soil Science Society of American Journal, 14:20-23.
Xie Rui-zhi, Li Shao-kun, and Li Xiaojun 2007. The Analysis of Conservation Tillage in China-Conservation Tillage and Crop Production: Reviewing the Evidence.Scientia Agriculture Sinica, 40( 9) :1914- 1924.
Yang Zhao-di, Cai Li-qun, and Zhang Ren-zhi 2008. Soil Enzymatic Activities under Different Tillages Practricess in Dryland. Chinese Journal of Soil Science, 39(3):514-517.
Yeboah S, Zhang R, Cai L, Song M, Li L, Xie , Luo Z, Wu J, Zhang J 2016’ Greenhouse gas emissions in a spring wheat–field pea sequence under different tillage practices in semi-arid Northwest China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 106: 77–91.doi: 10.1007/s10705-016-9790-1
Zanella A, Bolzonella C, Lowenfels J, Ponge J F, Bouché M, Saha D, Kukal S S, Fritz I, Savory A, Blouin M, Sartori L, Tatti D, Kellermann L A, Trachsel P, Burgos S, Minasny B, Fukuoka M. 2018. Humusica 2, article 19: Techno humus systems and global change–conservation agriculture and 4/1000 proposal. Applied Soil Ecology 122, 271–296. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2017.10.036
Zhang Ren-zhi, Huang Gao-bao, and Cai Li-qun 2013. Dry farmland practice involving multi-conservation tillage measures in the Loess Plateau. Chinese Journal of Eco-Agriculture, 21(1):61-69.
Zhang Ren-zhi,Luo Zhu-zhu,and Cai Li-qun 2011. Effects of long-term conservation tillage on soil physical quality of rainfed areas of the Loess Plateau. ACTA PRATACULTURAE SINICA, 20(4):1-10.