The introduction of sowing technologies into minimum- or no-tillage soil has a number of economical and environmental virtues, such as improving soil properties, decreasing soil erosion and degradation, and saving working time and fuel. However, the main disadvantage of these technologies is that plant residues on the soil surface reduce the quality of the planted crop seeds, thus requiring plant residues to be removed or cut. This paper presents a analysis of disc coulter parameters and an experimental investigation of cutting spring barley straw containing various amounts of moisture with different disc coulters (smooth and notched).
In maize growing technologies, tillage technological operations are the most time-consuming and require the greatest fuel input. Substitution of conventional tillage, involving deep ploughing, by other reduced tillage methods can reduce technological production costs, diminish soil degradation and environmental pollution from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as improve economic competitiveness of agricultural produce.
Experiments designed to assess energy and environmental aspects associated with different reduced tillage systems, applied in maize cultivation were conducted at Aleksandras Stulginskis University taking into account Lithuania’s economic and climate conditions. The study involved 5 tillage treatments: deep ploughing (DP, control), shallow ploughing (SP), deep cultivation (DC), shallow cultivation (SC) and no-tillage (NT).
Our experimental evidence suggests that with the application of reduced tillage systems it is feasible to reduce fuel consumption by 13-58% and working time input by 8.4% to nearly 3-fold, to reduce the cost price of maize cultivation technological operations, decrease environmental pollution with CO2 gas by 30 to 146 kg ha-1, compared with the deep ploughing.