REDUCED TILLAGE PRACTICES

DOI: 10.7904/2068 – 4738 – III(6) – 49

Ts. MIHOVSKY, I. PACHEV 

Abstract: Soil erosion can be considered, with different leve of severity, an EU–wide problem. Erosion is a natural geological phenomenon resulting from the removal of soil particles by water or wind, transporting them elsewhere. However some human activities can dramatically increase erosion rates. Soil organic matter assures the binding and buffering capacity of the soil, an essential determinant of erosion resistance and soil fertility. Crops grown without tillage, use water more efficiently, the water–holding capacity of the soil increases, and water losses from runoff and evaporation are reduced. In addition, soil organic matter and populations of beneficial insects are maintained, soil and nutrients are less likely to be lost from the field and less time and labour is required to prepare the field for planting. Greater water–stability of surface soil aggregates, higher microbial activity and earthworm populations and higher total carbon can be found In general, the greatest advantages of reduced tillage are realized on soils prone to erosion and drought, but significant advantages are only seen after more than 10 years of application.

 Key words: soil erosion, soil organic matter, conservation agriculture