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Ciencia del suelo

versión On-line ISSN 1850-2067


ALVAREZ, Carina Rosa; TABOADA, Miguel Ángel; BUSTINGORRI, Carolina  y  GUTIERREZ BOEM, Flavio Hernán. Soil alleviation in direct drilling systems: effect on soil physical properties and maize crop. Cienc. suelo [online]. 2006, vol.24, n.1, pp. 1-10. ISSN 1850-2067.

No-tilled soils have higher penetration resistances and bulk density values than tilled soils. Shallow compaction may be alleviated using deep tillage practices. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of soil alleviation on: 1- soil physical properties at maize sowing and harvest, 2- root abundance, maize yield and its components. Three experiments were conducted during the 2004/05 growing season. The experiments had a complete block design, with 2 treatments (control and deep-tilled) and 3 replicates, and were located at Junín, San Gregorio and Chivilcoy. Soil bulk density, soil water content, soil penetration resistance and infiltration rate were determined at maize sowing and harvest. At flowering maize root abundance, intercepted photosynthetic active radiation and leaf greenness were determined. Additionally, yield and its components were measured. Soil alleviation increased infiltration rate at sowing (P<0,05), but there were no differences at harvest. Soil alleviation reduced penetration resistances at sowing by 54%, 28%, 42 % at Junin, San Gregorio and Chivilcoy, respectively (P<0,05). Deep tillage increased root abundance at flowering at Junin and Chivilcoy (P<0,05). Maize yield showed a positive and statistically significant increase with soil alleviation. However, its magnitude was only 6,5% more than control yield. This result was in accordance with a 3% increase in intercepted photosynthetic active radiation. Yield response to subsoiling was positively related with the original soil bulk density at each site. Although the measured changes might improve water use efficiency, little impact on yield was observed due to a relatively humid cropping season. More research is needed in order to establish crop response in a wide range of water availability and soil compaction conditions.

Palabras clave : Soil alleviation; Direct drilling; Maize; Yield; Root growth.

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