Effect of crop rotations soil quality, production, and economic returns of barley grown under zero till in Parana (Brazil)
dos Santos, H.P.
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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The cereal growing area of southern Brazil is characterized by high intensity rainstorms, warm temperatures, hilly topography, and acid soils low in natural fertility. Traditionally, cereals are grown in winter in a double cropping system with soybeans grown in summer. These factors combined with excessive use of disc-type implements causes severe soil loss by water erosion, low grain yields due to disease and insects, and general soil degradation. The combined use of zero or minimum tillage with crop rotations which include other crop types is one solution being examined with assistance from CIDA and involving scientists from Canada and Brazil. This paper reports on the agronomic and economic performance of four zero-till barley rotations. After four years of study, the results show the beneficial effects of extending rotation lengths to break disease cycles as shown by improved barley yields. The choice of cropping sequence, however, significantly influences subsequent grain yields. While barley yields were highest for the 2-year and 4-year rotations and lowest for the barley-soybean rotation, net returns were generally highest for the 4-year and continuous barley systems. Soil properties such as organic matter, pH, and Al concentration did not change significantly with the use of extended rotations, however, the potential for soil erosion was reduced by use of zero-tillage management.
Part OfSoils and Crops Workshop
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