Impact of Conventional and Sustainable Soil Tillage and Sowing Technologies on Physical-Mechanical Soil Properties
Application of sustainable tillage and sowing technologies are rapidly increasing all over the world stimulating an interest in new technologies and their possibilities to reduce an impact of agricultural machinery on natural processes in Lithuania. This work aims to investigate the impact of different soil tillage and sowing technologies on physical-mechanical soil properties.
Research was carried out in the periods of 2000-2002 and 2005-2007 in three Lithuanian districts with different soil properties: Kaunas, Marijampolė and Pasvalys. The interest was concentrated on the impact of conventional and sustainable soil tillage and sowing technologies on soil hardness, soil moisture and distribution of clods in the upper soil layers.The experimental studies have established that irrespective of soil heaviness, soil hardness in non-ploughed soils is greater than that after conventional ploughing. The increasing soil hardness changes the conditions for seed insertion into soil. Research results show that under Lithuanian conditions reduction in soil tillage intensity can save a considerably higher amount of soil moisture, which enables the improvement of seed germination. Analysis of clods distribution in the upper soil layers (< 15 mm) shows that the quantity of fine (< 2 mm) clods in non-ploughed soil is lower than that in the ploughed one which reduces the crust formation on the soil surface and the possible consequences of soil erosion.