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Conservation Tillage Methods and Key Techniques for Two-crop Annual Rotation in Semi-arid Regions in North China

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008645.(doi:10.13031/2013.29679)
Authors:   Qing Yang, Chenghai Yang
Keywords:   Conservation tillage, two-crop annual rotation, tillage system, key technique.

The conservation tillage based on straw residue coverage, minimum tillage and no-tillage, and pest control is a sustainable tillage system suitable for dryland farming in North China. This study was conducted at the demonstration zone for mechanized conservation tillage techniques and machinery in Yangling, Shaanxi, with the goal of increasing resource use efficiency, crop yield, production efficiency, and agricultural sustainability. On the basis of testing and field experiments, different mechanization methods were investigated and the soil physical, chemical and biological properties as well as the economic returns were compared among different tillage methods for wheat-corn annual rotation in a semi-arid region in North China. The effects of key conservation tillage technical factors, including fertilizer rate, fertilization spacing, time intervals of deep soil loosening, amount of crop residue coverage, were tested and analyzed. The results from seven years experiments showed that: 1) leaving wheat residue for mechanized corn production could improve soil structure and soil fertility and lower soil volumetric density; 2) tall straw residue was better than low straw residue for planting corn using either rotary tillage or deep loosening tillage; and 3) based three soil deep loosening methods, deep loosening had certain effects on weed control, and weed infestations reduced with the decreasing interval of deep loosening. The best interval for deep loosening without residue was one year, and the deep loosening with straw residue for no-till planting could replace traditional plowing and deep loosening without residue for no-till planting. Fertilizer rate and fertilizer spacing experiments showed that applying fertilizer with seeds had relatively lower yield than applying fertilizer at a distance from the seed row. These results provide a basis for the implementation of conservation tillage for wheat-corn annual rotation in the semi-arid regions in North China.

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