EFFECTS OF CONSERVATION TILLAGE INORGANIC BRKSHAVRZY
|Auobamiri1*, Ahmad Gholamalizadeh ahangar2
|Corresponding Author: Auobamiri, E-mail: [email protected]|
|Received: 17 August 2014 Accepted: 27 September 2014|
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Conservation tillage covers a range of tillage practices, mostly non-inversion, which aim to conserve soil moisture and reduce soil erosion by leaving more than one-third of the soil surface covered by crop residues. Organic farmers are encouraged to adopt conservation tillage to preserve soil quality and fertility and to prevent soil degradation – mainly erosion and compaction. Tillage affects the soil physical and chemical environment in which soil microorganisms live, thereby affecting their number, diversity and activity. Conservation tillage (CT) is practiced on 45 million ha world-wide, predominantly in North and South America but its uptake is also increasing in South Africa, Australia and other semi-arid areas of the world. The potential advantages of conservation tillage in organic farming are reduced erosion, greater macroporosity in the soil surface due to larger number of earthworms, more microbial activity and carbon storage, less run-off and leaching of nutrients, reduced fuel use and faster tillage. The disadvantages of conservation tillage in organic farming are greater pressure from grass weeds, less suitable than ploughing for poorly drained, unstable soils or high rainfall areas, restricted N availability and restricted crop choice. A high standard of management is required, tailored to local soil and site conditions. Innovative approaches for the application of conservation tillage, such as perennial mulches, mechanical control of cover crops, rotational tillage and controlled traffic, require further practical assessment.