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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 100 No. 5, p. 1418-1429
    Received: May 22, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): mazzo@agr.unipi.it
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Rainfed Wheat and Soybean Productivity in a Long-Term Tillage Experiment in Central Italy

  1. Marco Mazzoncini *a,
  2. Claudia Di Beneb,
  3. Antonio Colic,
  4. Daniele Antichib,
  5. Monica Petrib and
  6. Enrico Bonarib
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy and Agroecosystem Management, Univ. of Pisa, via San Michele degli Scalzi n. 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy
    b Land Lab, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Piazza Martiri della Libertà n. 33, 56127 Pisa, Italy
    c Avanzi Interdepartmental Cent. for Agro-Environmental Res. (CIRAA), Univ. of Pisa, via Vecchia di Marina n. 6, 56122 San Piero a Grado (PI), Italy


Tillage plays a key role in cropping system sustainability due to its impact on soil properties, crop yields, economic returns, labor, and energy requirements. The objective of our research was to compare the effects of no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) on durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] productivity in a long-term, 2-yr rotation field experiment initiated in 1986 under a Mediterranean climate. The 16-yr (1990–2005) average grain yield for NT wheat was 8.9% lower than that for CT wheat (3.97 vs. 4.36 Mg ha−1). Differences between tillage systems were significant in 6 out of the 16 seasons and were small when planting was early, weed control was good, and rainfall deficit occurred during the grain filling period. The 16-yr average grain yield for soybean was significantly lower under NT than under CT (2.60 vs. 3.08 Mg ha−1) but differences between tillage systems were small and not significant in 12 out of the 16 seasons. In comparison to wheat, NT soybean had higher weed pressure. Nitrogen concentrations in wheat and soybean were little affected by tillage. Phosphorus concentrations in wheat grain and straw were generally higher under NT, while differences in soybean tissue P due to tillage were negligible.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of AgronomyCopyright © 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy