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Soil Properties and Crop Yield under Different Tillage Practices in Upland of Balochistan

Soil Properties and Crop Yield under Different Tillage Practices in Upland of Balochistan

Muhammad Sharif1*, Sadullah1, Ghulam Rasool2, Muhammad Nasir Khan1, Zubair Rehman1, Ahmed Khan2, Ijaz Ahmad3 and Khalid Hussain4 

1Department of Soil Science, Balochistan Agriculture College, Quetta, Pakistan; 2Balochistan Agriculture College, Quetta, Pakistan; 3Ecotoxicology Research Institute, National Agriculture Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan; 4Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan.  


Soil degradation due to structural instability and low contents of organic matters are serious challenges for land and crop production in the upland of Balochistan. It is important to explore an alternative farming system which improves soil properties, environment friendly and provide sufficient crop yield. Conservation tillage system is successfully practiced worldwide as a resource conserving techniques. Therefore, an experiment was conducted under the treatments, i.e. conventional tillage (CT), Zero tillage (ZT) and Chisel plough (CP) during the year 2016 at the field research area of Balochistan Agriculture College, Quetta. The study was designed to compare conventional versus conservation tillage practices and their effects on soil physico-chemical properties such as total organic carbon (TOC), infiltration rates, soil water contents (SWC), soil reaction (pH), electrical conductivity (EC), soil bulk density, total soil porosity, soil temperature, crop biomass and crop yield. The results revealed that TOC under ZT (0.57%) was increased significantly. EC of ZT (0.314 ds m-1) was decreased numerically, but pH was not affected by tillage treatments. No significant difference regarding SWC, soil temperature, infiltration rate was observed under different tillage treatments, but the results under ZT were appriciable and CT (1.28 g cm-3) showed significantly less soil bulk density as compared to both of the other treatments. The crop biomass and grain yield of sorghum were observed CT>CP>ZT accordingly, but the differences were statistically significant for grain yield only. The results indicated that conservation tillage in the form of zero tillage has potential to improve soil properties but the yields of different treatments were same. 

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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research


Vol.36, Iss. 4, Pages 297-403


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