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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 76 No. 6, p. 2195-2207
    Received: Mar 22, 2012
    Published: October 19, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): kumar.278@osu.edu


Long-Term Tillage and Crop Rotations for 47–49 Years Influences Hydrological Properties of Two Soils in Ohio

  1. Sandeep Kumar *a,
  2. Atsunobu Kadonob,
  3. Rattan Lalc and
  4. Warren Dickd
  1. a Carbon Management & Sequestration Center, School of Environment & Natural Resources, 414A Kottman Hall, The Ohio State Univ., 2021 Coffey Rd. Columbus, OH 43210-1085
    b Tottori Univ. of Environmental Studies Tottori, 689-1111, Japan
    c Carbon Management & Sequestration Center School of Environment & Natural Resources, 414A Kottman Hall The Ohio State Univ., 2021 Coffey Rd., Columbus, OH 43210-1085
    d School of Environment & Natural Resources The Ohio State Univ., 1680 Madison Ave. Wooster, OH 44691-4096


Research is lacking concerning soil water retention (SWR) and infiltration rates (qs) as affected by long-term tillage and crop rotation. Thus, soil hydrological properties were measured at two long-term experimental sites near Wooster (49 yr) and Hoytville (47 yr) in central Ohio. The Wooster soil is silt loam in texture and well-drained, whereas, the Hoytville soil is clay loam in texture and poorly-drained. Tillage treatments were, no-tillage (NT), minimum-tillage (MT), and plow-tillage (PT), and crop rotations were continuous corn (Zea mays L.), and corn-soybean (Glycine max L.) in a 2-yr rotation. Soil hydrological properties were compared with those of adjacent and undisturbed woodlots (WL). The SWR characteristics indicated higher volumetric water content at almost all matric potentials (Ψm) under WL soils than for the three tillage systems at both sites. Among tillage treatments, soils under NT had higher SWR than those under MT and PT for all four (0–10, 10–20, 20–30, and 30–40 cm) depths. In general, long-term NT contained a higher proportion of macropores (>1000 μm) and micropores (<10 μm), and hence had higher SWR than MT and PT for all depths. The qs was 1.9 and 4.2 times higher in well-drained soils under NT as compared to those under MT and PT, respectively, and 2.1 and 4.2 times higher in poorly-drained soils. Two physical based infiltration models, Green-Ampt and Parlange, fitted the measured infiltration data well with the coefficients of determination (r2) ranging from 0.91 to 0.98, and root mean square error values from 0.06 to 0.66 mm h−1. Results support the conclusion that long-term (47–49 yr) use of NT practices in both well-drained and poorly-drained soils improves SWR, pore-size distribution, and qs compared to PT and MT practices.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the Soil Science Society of America, Inc.