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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2015, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (03): 468-478.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2015.00468


Effects of Rotational Tillage on Tilth Soil Structure and Crop Yield and Quality in Maize–Wheat Cropping System

NIE Liang- Peng1,3,GUO Li-Wei1,NIU Hai-Yan2,WEI Jie2,LI Zeng-Jia1,NING Tang-Yuan1,*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology / National Engineering Laboratory for Efficient Utilization of Soil and Fertilizer Resources / Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology in Universities of Shandong Province, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, China; 2 Tengzhou Agricultural Bureau, Tengzhou 277519, China; 3 Minquan Agricultural Bureau, Minquan 476800 China
  • Received:2014-03-20 Revised:2014-12-19 Online:2015-03-12 Published:2015-01-12
  • Contact: 宁堂原, E-mail: ningty@163.com, Tel: 0538-8249737 E-mail:nieliangpeng@163.com


In a three-year field experiment from the wheat season of 2009 to the maize season of 2012 in North China., we compared the effects of six tillage systems (zero-tillage, subsoiling, and conventional tillage before wheat sowing; zero-tillage and subsoiling before maize sowing) on soil porosity, moisture content, and crop yield and quality. Compared with zero-tillage, subsoiling before maize sowing greatly increased the annual mean soil total porosity in 0–40 cm soil layer, and subsoiling or conventional tillage before wheat sowing was also in favor of improving soil total porosity in 0–40 cm layer. The interaction between tillage practices in wheat and maize seasons had the largest influence on soil porosity, and the tillage in maize season determined the soil non-capillary porosity. Subsoiling and conventional tillages in wheat season resulted in more water absorption at late wheat growth stage than zero-tillage; particularly, wheat yield in subsoiling was the highest with significant differences from that of zero-tillage and conventional tillage. Subsoiling in maize season had more water absorption at filling stage and yield promotion than zero-tillage. Meanwhile, subsoiling in maize season had a successive effect in the following wheat season. In an overview of yield and grain quality, subsoiling in both maize and wheat seasons was the most optimal tillage mode for wheat-maize cropping system in North China, followed by subsoiling in wheat season plus zero-tillage in maize season.

Key words: Rotational tillage, Maize-wheat cropping system, Tilth soil structure, Yield, Grain quality

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