DHEERAJ PANGHAAL, PANKAJ KUMAR, RAKESH KUMAR, KULDEEP SINGH AND ROHTAS KUMAR
Department of Soil Science, Department of Agronomy
CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar-125004 (Haryana), India
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(Received : 18 April 2021; Accepted : 10 June 2021)
Conventional tillage practices lead to change in soil structure by modifying soil bulk density and soil moisture content. Continuous disturbance of soil by conventional tillage makes finer and loose-setting soil structure while conservation and no-tillage methods leave the soil intact which results in a change of characteristics of the pores network. Losses of soil organic C (SOC) and deterioration in other properties exaggerated where conventional tillage was employed whereas conservation tillage improved soil quality. When conventional tillage is replaced by conservation tillage CO2 emissions from soil is reduced. Conservation tillage is thought to take care of the soil health, plant growth and the environment. Forage crop production could be increased by adopting appropriate tillage operation. Conservation tillage has potential to break the surface compact zone in soil with reduced soil disturbance which leads to a better soil environment and crop yield with minimal impact on the environment and sustainable crop production. Macro- and micronutrients, fiber and protein contents are changed in silage by means of different tillage practices. Generally, conservation tillage has profound effects on forage yield. Zero tillage with mulch, zero tillage without mulch, ploughing, and ploughing plus harrowing had more yield than ploughing plus harrowing twice by 33.7, 30.5, 18.9 and 17.9%, respectively. Conservation tillage lead to lower methane emission in comparison to conventional tillage; on average, 0.32 kg CH4-C ha-1 year-1 was oxidized with conservation tillage. Capacity building on innovative conservation tillage practices is crucial for researchers, extension workers, development practitioners and the smallholder farmers.
Key words:Soil organic carbon, conventional tillage, sustainable, forage quality