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Effect of conservation tillage systems and water saving on the productivity of wheat and barley crops under semi-arid conditions of Sudan

Author: 
Sir Elkhatim K. Abbouda, Adam Bush Adam, Mohamed Abdel Mahmoud Elsheikh and Zuhier Yassien Mohamed
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of conservation tillage systems and water saving on the productivity of wheat and barley crops. The experimental work was conducted at Tamboul Testing and Training Centre, Sudan located at 150km south east of Khartoum during two different seasons (1995 -1996) in a heavy clay soil with an area of 2.4ha. The treatments were deferent tillage systems (zero tillage, ridging, shallow harrowing, heavy harrowing, disc ploughing, discing+harrowing, split ridging and ridging thrice). These treatments were arranged in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. A computer program (SAS statistical package) was used to analyze the data while the variations among the means were checked by the least significant difference (LSD).The parameters tested were soil physical properties, crop water requirements (mm/day) and crop productivity (kg/ha). The results showed that, conservation tillage systems significantly (P ≤ 0.05) affected clearly soil physical properties. Discing+harrowing decreased the bulk density (1.3g/cm3) as compared to zero tillage system (1.5g/cm3). The highest moisture content was recorded under zero tillage (28 cm/m). The use of crop water requirement technique resulted on saving the amount of water applied at the winter season by 13.2% compared with the summer season. The amount of water increased as irrigation decreased up to the 5th irrigation then decreased in final stages of the crop development. Crop productivity significantly affected by the water saving and conservation tillage systems. Discing+harrowing gave the highest mean values crop productivity of wheat (1305kg/ha) and barley (1011kg/ha) as compared to zero tillage which ranked the least (680.7kg/ha). It is concluded that for increasing the productivity, water saving and soil conserving should be followed and adopted as one of the most important technical packages.

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