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Subsoil loosening eliminated plough pan but had variable effect on crop yield

Munkholm, Lars J.; Olesen, Jørgen E. and Schjønning, Per (2005) Subsoil loosening eliminated plough pan but had variable effect on crop yield. In: NJF Report, NJF, 1 (1), pp. 95-98.

[thumbnail of 7824.doc] Source file - English


The effect of subsoil loosening to c. 35 cm depth was studied in an organic crop rotation experiment at Flakkebjerg (sandy loam) and Foulum (loamy sand). In each of the years 2000-2003 half of 4 plots per site was loosened in the autumn in a young grass-clover. Penetration resistance was recorded yearly. Detailed soil physical properties were determined for the Foulum site in 2003. Aboveground winter wheat growth was followed during the 2002/03 growing season using spectral reflectance measurements. Root growth was followed during the 2002/03 growing season at Foulum using the minirhizotron technique. Crop yield was determined every year in all treated plots. The Paraplow treatment effectively loosened the plough pan. Loosening in the grass-clover crop resulted in reduced growth. Apparently, this unintended effect of loosening had marked effects on the growth of the succeeding winter wheat crop. In wet years, yields were lowest in loosened and unmanured soil. In a dry year, loosening resulted in increased yield at Flakkebjerg. This appears to be an effect of the grass-clover crop that interferes with the results of loosening. Generally, our results suggest that under Danish conditions subsoil loosening can only be recommended in case of very severe subsoil compaction.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Subsoil loosening, plough pan, soil structure, root growth, crop yield
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Soil > Soil quality
Crop husbandry > Soil tillage
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I. 7 (ROMAPAC) Soil quality in organic farming
Deposited By: Munkholm, Senior scientist Lars J.
ID Code:7824
Deposited On:24 Mar 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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