Disks have been in use in Hungary since around 1890. Since they can be used in a variety of ways they are the second most widespread tillage tool after ploughs. The application of disk tillage in Hungary can be divided into four periods. In the first half-century period (1890-1940) disks became popular and disking became a normal part of the tillage system. For a short period between 1950 and 1960 strong reservations were expressed with respect to disking, but during the third period (1964-1988) disking, particularly basic disk tillage, became an acknowledged method of rational, cost-saving tillage. During the fourth period, since 1989, disking has often been used of neccesity as a low cost form of tillage despite the serious damage to the soil status caused by compaction in the case of repeated disking. In order to demonstrate the changes in soil status caused by disking and to estimate the consequences on these changes, experiments were set up in Gödöllo in 1992 (A) and 1995 (B) on brown forest soil, with identical tillage and mineral fertilisation treatments. This paper examines the effects of disking and of disking combined with medium deep loosening on the soil status, on the yields of maize and winter wheat, and on weed growth. Data available in the literature prove the favourable effect of loosening on the yields of crops sensitive to the soil status when grown on soils which arc liable to settle, so the present paper does not deal with this aspect of the problem, but with the long-term advantages and disadvantages of the two types of tillage, neither of them involving ploughing, with regard to soil status and weed growth. It could be seen from the results that disking was capable of developing the soil status required for crop production to a depth of 16-20 cm. The annual repetition of this shallow tillage method led to a compacted soil layer below the disking depth from the 3rd year onwards, which thickened towards both the surface and deeper layers from the 5th year, thus reducing the maximum depth which could be influenced by disking. The combination of disking with loosening was investigated to determine whether it could be used to avoid the unfavourable effects of long-term disking. The studies confirmed the beneficial effect of loosening on the physical state of the soil, but it was found that on the Gödöllo soil, which tends to settle, the effect of loosening was only felt for a single season or less. The compacting effect of disking after loosening could be attributed to the rainfall and soil moisture content during the cultivation season. The influence of mineral fertilisation on the yield of both crops in both experiments was in agreement with the literature. The maize yield after disking combined with loosening was 42% greater in experiment A, averaged over 7 years, and 20% greater in experiment B, averaged over 3 years, than after shallow disking alone. The yield of winter wheat was 13.5% and 16% greater after soil loosening in the two experiments, each over the average of 2 years. It was found that the yield-reducing effect of shallow disk tillage increased over time as the soil status deteriorated. In maize the long-term use of shallow disk tillage led to an increase in the weed cover, while the regular application of soil loosening proved to help control weeds. This weed-reducing effect was not as great as that of regular ploughing, but should be considered in addition to the yield-increasing effect when objectively judging the effectiveness of soil loosening. In the 7th year of the experiment the total weed cover, monocotyledonous weed cover and perennial weed cover in the loosening treatment was 73%, 69% and 65%, respectively, of that in the disking treatment. All in all a similar tendency could be observed in winter wheat, though nine of the thirty-two disking treatments did not lead to greater weed infestation. In the experiments, despite the repetition of tillage methods without ploughing, weed infestation was successfully overcome until the end of the 1998 growing season by applying a maize - winter wheat crop rotation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Effect of repeated shallow disk tillage on some crop production factors on brown forest soil|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science