Much research around the world has compared the performance of cereals grown under conventional and conservation tillage systems; however, relatively few long-term experiments have been conducted in Mediterranean areas, and little attention has been given to interactions among tillage techniques and other system components across space and time. In this study, we investigated the effects of the long-term (18-yr) use of three tillage techniques (conventional tillage, CT; reduced tillage, RT; and no-till, NT) on wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) grain yield and quality within three crop sequences: continuous wheat, faba bean (Vicia faba L.)–wheat, and berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.)–wheat. In addition, we investigated the effects of climatic variability on the treatments and evaluated whether cumulative effects occurred from continuous treatment. On average, NT resulted in a grain yield advantage over CT when water stress was high and, conversely, a disadvantage when water stress was low. The effect of the tillage system on grain yield varied by crop sequence. Grain yield differences between NT and CT when wheat was grown after faba bean or berseem clover were explained primarily by climatic variability without a cumulative effect over time. In contrast, in continuous wheat, NT resulted in a progressive decrease in grain yield compared with CT. On average, wheat grain protein content varied significantly by tillage system (CT > RT > NT). This suggests that fertilizer N requirements increase with NT compared with CT because of changes in N cycling that lead to a reduction in plant-available soil N.
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2013|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science