The effect of zero tillage upon water content of a heavy clay soil under crop conditions
Recent studies on the effect of zero (ZT)- and conventional (CT) tillage systems on the soil hydraulic properties in the Canadian Prairies have focused primarily on the soil water content and storage in the entire soil profile of light and medium textured soils and not that of heavy textured soils. A study was performed at the Kemen Research Farm in the Dark Brown soil zone near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The soil water content in the ZT was higher than the CT within (O-l .2 m) the root zone depth, although the differences were not significant (P=0.05) at most times under crop conditions. The ZT had 22, 46 and 52 mm more water than the CT within the root zone depth on August 3, 1994, the end of the growing season (August 31, 1994) and at freeze up (October 19, 1994), respectively. Although there was not a significant (P=0.05) difference in soil water of the ZT and CT treatments within the root zone on August 3, the difference in soil water was significant (P=0.05) at freeze up. The ZT conserved 30 mm more water than the CT within the root zone depth. Below the root zone, there were not significant (P=0.05) differences in soil water of the treatments at the selected dates.
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