JOrson_Prague_June11

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JOrson_Prague_June11

  1. 1. Conservation tillage in the UK Jim Orson© Copyright text
  2. 2. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 19 75 Source: 19© Copyright text 76 19 77 19 78 19 79 19 80 19 81 19 82 19 85 19 86 19 87 19 88 19 89 19 90 19 91 19 92 19 93 19 94 19 95 19 96 19 97 19 98 19 99 20 after non-plough tillage 00 20 01 20 02 20 03 20 04 20 05 20 % of winter wheat in England established 06 20 07 20 08
  3. 3. Average wheat yields (t/ha) t/ha 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 05 10 0 5 0 70 5 0 5 9 9 0 7 8 8 20 20 19 19 20 19 19 19 19 USA UK© Copyright text
  4. 4. Min-till does not mean necessarily mean reduced fuel use for primary cultivation Cost/ha Total time Typical fuel Fuel cost/ha consumption (£) (minutes/ha) (litres/ha) (£ at 52p/litre) Plough based Do these comparison take into £75-113 65-150 30-50 £16-26 account timeliness? ‘TopDown’ type (working If£61-78 speed of operation required same 45-70 38-54 £20-28 depth 125-150 mm) then ploughing capacity needs to be ‘Carrier’ type increased by24-59 than 45%-110% £59-64 more 26-28 £14-15 (working depth 50 mm) to be comparable with the ‘TopDown’ ‘Bioseeder’ for OSR resulting in ploughing costing around £32 24 16-18 £8-9 Direct drill a total of an additional £45-£120/ha £21-£31 20-30 8-10 £4-5© Copyright text
  5. 5. The annual % control of black-grass plants needed within the crop to prevent the weed increasing in winter cereals % Tine/disc (5cm) 99% Tine/disc (10cm) 98% Tine/disc (20cm) 97% Tine/disc (20cm) + cultural 93% (50% less heads) Plough 90% Plough (20-25cm) + cultural 80% (50% less heads) Source: Moss et al., 2010© Copyright text
  6. 6. Comment faire lever les adventices ?250 plus on travaille superficiellement, Plantes/m² plus les adventices lèvent facilement200 Déchaumage 2 cm fin (Horsch SE) Déchaumage 4 cm + Rappui (Semeflex)150 Déchaumage 5 cm (Smaragd) Chaume nu10050 0 Repousses de blé Ray Grass Véronique de Perse 1er déchaumage 1er déchaumage 2ème déchaumage Boigneville, été 2007
  7. 7. Black-grass - quicker emergence from shallow incorporation low dormancy seed surface sown Low dormancy seed 1cm depth High dormancy seed surface sown High dormancy seed 1cm depth Emergence (% seeds planted) 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 ep ep ct ct ct ct ov ov S S O O O O N N 9- 0- 0 8- 1 6- 2 3- 3 0- 9- 7- 1 3 0 2 Sarah Cook – glasshouse at ADAS Boxworth, sown 4 September 2010© Copyright text
  8. 8. STAR project – Beccles clay, Suffolk© Copyright text
  9. 9. STAR project – after 5 years Yield (relative to ploughing = 100) and cumulative net margin (£/ha) Rotation Winter Spring Continuous Plough 100 (£2463) 100 (£1450) 100 (£1079) Shallow (10 cm) 93 (£1885) 88 (£1383) 97 (£1046) Deep (20 cm) 97 (£2563) 95 (1427) 94 (£870) Average cumulative margin (£/ha) £2345 £1428 £1088© Copyright text
  10. 10. Soil penetrometer readings - 2011 STAR project - Effect of cultivation 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 Megapascals 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Depth (inch) Annual plough Managed approach Shallow tillage Deep tillage© Copyright text
  11. 11. Soils are now over-stressed!? 3 14 fold 2.5 increase Soil stress 7 fold (Bar) at 2 increase 12 t 0.4 m depth 1.5 1 0.5 0 1930 1940 1980 2006 2006 Source – Tim Chamen, based on Koolen et al., 1992© Copyright text
  12. 12. Cultivated soils susceptible to compaction – even under very dry conditions Chicksands – autumn 2009 Colworth – autumn 2009 August 2010 August 2010 Tim Chamen – PhD thesis© Copyright text
  13. 13. More than one reason to achieve sustainable shallow tillage Energy inputs GHG emissions GJ/ha (% of total chain) Kg C02eq/ha (% of total chain) Diesel 4.7 (28%) 356.6 (11%) N fertiliser 7.5 (46%) 2,528.6 (81%) P fertiliser 0.7 (4%) A climate 29.1 (1%) K fertiliser 0.4 (2%) unfriendly 21.0 (1%) Pesticides 0.6 (4%) technology 10.8 (0.5%) Seeds 2.5 (16%) 160.4 (5%) Total 16.0 A climate 3,106 friendly Source: Rickeard et al., 2004 technology© Copyright text
  14. 14. Sustainable shallow tillage • Can a virtuous circle be created: – need to move less soil – shallow tillage with lighter tractors should result in higher organic matter content in the disturbed layer (leading to improved surface soil tilth) and less soil damage at depth – but the impact of wheels/tracks need to be avoided; can improvements in tyres/tracks and/or precision techniques (controlled traffic) provide a way forward?© Copyright text
  15. 15. Initially carbon losses are reduced by the introduction of shallow tillage but after a few years the organic matter formed from crop residues becomes concentrated in the cultivated layer and so carbon losses not much less than ploughing Comparisons of tillage effects are often made on C concentrations in the top 15 cm (or less). This is not satisfactory as it does not account for differences in soil bulk density and placement of OM below 15 cm.© Copyright text
  16. 16. Soil amendment research 8.50 8.00 7.50Yield (t/ha) 7.00 6.50 6.00 5.50 5.00 4.50 4.00 Spring break Spring break + cover crop - compost + compost No compost Compost pH 7.5 7.7 N 10.9 13.7 P 24.3 32.7 K 122.0 198.5 Mg 28.5 49.0 © Copyright text OM % 1.9 2.3
  17. 17. Water infiltration – 2011 NFS cultivation study© Copyright text
  18. 18. Strip Tillage© Copyright text
  19. 19. Strip tillage – great for winter oilseed rape© Copyright text
  20. 20. Not so good for sugar beet NIAB Innovation Fund© Copyright text
  21. 21. Conclusions • Shallow tillage is not sustainable on the majority of UK the arable area • Will improved ‘soil fertility’ and better tyre/track technology and/or controlling traffic and/or strip tillage provide a way forward?© Copyright text

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