African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6638

Full Length Research Paper

Soil physical and hydraulic changes in different yielding zones under no-tillage in Brazil

Antônio Luis Santi
  • Antônio Luis Santi
  • Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Federal University of Santa Maria, Frederico Westphalen, Rio Grande do Sul, 98400-000, Brazil.
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Júnior Melo Damian
  • Júnior Melo Damian
  • Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Federal University of Santa Maria, Frederico Westphalen, Rio Grande do Sul, 98400-000, Brazil.
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Maurício Roberto Cherubin
  • Maurício Roberto Cherubin
  • Department of Soil Science, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, São Paulo, 13418-900, Brazil
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Telmo Jorge Carneiro Amado
  • Telmo Jorge Carneiro Amado
  • Department of Soil Science, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, 97105-900, Brazil
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Mateus Tonini Eitelwein
  • Mateus Tonini Eitelwein
  • Department of Biosystems Engineering, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, São Paulo, 13418-900, Brazil
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André Luis Vian
  • André Luis Vian
  • Department of Plant Science, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, 91540-000, Brazil
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Wilfrand Ferney Bejarano Herrera
  • Wilfrand Ferney Bejarano Herrera
  • Department of Soil Science, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, São Paulo, 13418-900, Brazil
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  •  Received: 13 November 2015
  •  Accepted: 17 March 2016
  •  Published: 14 April 2016

Abstract

Soil physical and structural degradation may influence crop productivity over time in long-term no-tillage system areas. A field study was conducted at two sites, Palmeira das Missões and Não-Me-Toque, in southern Brazil to quantify soil physical/hydraulic and structural changes in zones with different yield potentials. The sites have been managed under no-tillage system without soil disturbance for more than 10 years. Soils were classified as Oxisols (Hapludox). Each site was divided into three zones with low, medium and high yield potentials based on overlapping of yield maps obtained from harvesters with precision agriculture tools. Within each yielding zone soil samples were collected to determine bulk density, porosity and aggregate stability. In addition, water infiltration rate and initial time for starting surface runoff were measured using a sprinkler infiltrometer (Cornell Sprinkler infiltrometer). Our findings showed that soils under low-yielding zones presented higher bulk density, lower macro-aggregate stability and water infiltration rate as well as shorter time for starting surface runoff compared to high-yielding zones. Therefore, these results suggest that soil physical and structural degradations have induced crop yield losses under long-term no-tillage areas. Macro-aggregate stability (>4.76 mm) and water infiltration rate were efficient parameters for distinguishing yielding zones in Oxisols managed under long-term no-tillage system in southern Brazil.

 

Key words: Soil compaction, Cornell Sprinkler Infiltrometer, soil aggregation, water infiltration.