African Journal of Agriculture

African Journal of Agriculture ISSN 2375-1134 Vol. 3 (6), pp. 169-177, June, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Impact of short-term tillage on soil properties, weeds dynamics and crop yield of wheat

Dhirubhai F. K Ambani* and Shah Dhyan Kapoor

Agro-Ecology and Pollution Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology and Environmental Science, 

Gurukula Kangri University, Haridwar-249404 (Uttarakhand), India.

E-mail: ambani_max@gmail.com

Accepted 26 May, 2016

Abstract

The influence of tillage on soil physical properties, weeds population and crop yield of wheat (Triticum aestivum) in agricultural fields was investigated in the Great Plains of Ganga River. The results revealed that summer tillage and spring tillage showed significant (P>0.05) change in moisture content, water holding capacity (WHC), hydraulic conductivity and microbial biomass of the agricultural soil in comparison to no-till soil. Soil bulk density (BD) was not significantly (P>0.05) affected by tillage. Both the summer and spring tillage decreased the moisture content, BD, WHC, hydraulic conductivity and microbial biomass. Both summer tillage and spring tillage significantly (P<0.05) decreased the number of weeds in the soil used for wheat cultivation. A total of 38 species of weeds from 22 families were recorded before the tillage, which was decreased to 5 and 12 species after summer and spring tillage respectively. Among the tillage, summer tillage more significantly (P<0.01) decreased the weeds in comparison to spring tillage. Both the summer and spring tillage significantly (P<0.05) increased crop yield of T. aestivum. Therefore, tillage improved the soil health and crop yield, and decreased the weed population.

Key words: Tillage, bulk density, water holding capacity, microbial biomass, weeds, wheat (Triticum aestivum).