The Influence of Soil Tillage on Maize Yields and Some Agrochemical Characteristics of the Soil

Elena Partal1, Nicoleta Mărin2, Mihaela Șerban1

1National Agricultural Research and Development Institute Fundulea

2Institutul Național de Cercetare-Dezvoltare pentru Pedologie, Agrochimie și Protecția Mediului București

Keywords: maize, soil tillages, soil agrochemistry, drought, yield.

Abstract: The paper presents the results obtained in a long-term experiment with different soil tillage systems, on the cambic chernozem from Fundulea. The data reflect the influence of tillage on maize production in 2020 and 2021, two very different years in terms of climate (2020 very dry and 2021 an average year). In the dry year, the highest yield (3828 kg/ha) was obtained in the plots where mechanical chiseling was applied, ensuring a better accumulation of water from the soil, while the lowest yield was obtained in the control plot without work. In 2021, the highest yield (7510 kg/ha) was obtained in the plots where the autumn plowing was applied, and the lowest in the control plots (2036 kg/ha). In both years, the spring plowing ensured distinct and very significant increases in yield, but much smaller than in the plots with autumn plowing or in those where chisel work was carried out. The agrochemical analyzes performed in the 2 years of experimentation showed the highest values for humus, total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in mobile forms and the total cation exchange capacity in the no-tillages plots and the lowest values of these characteristics in the plowing autumn plots. Although disk tillages and spring plowing provided similar values, in the plots with disk tillages the amount of water recorded higher values. Spring plowing is not recommended, as it causes rapid water loss from the soil, and by increasing aeration negatively influences the decomposition of humus. It will be replaced by disk or chisel tillages. Autumn plowing ensures the highest production, but also the highest consumption of nutrients and fuel and the increase of greenhouse gas emissions, but ensures better conditions for the decomposition of organic matter.