Effect of different tillage systems and cover crop on aggregate stability, aggregate tensile strength and penetration resistance of a silt loam soil in Hamedan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Bu-ali Sina University of Hamedan

2 Bu ali Sina University of Hamedan

3 Bualisina University of Hamedan

4 Buali Sina University of Hamedan


Soil management practices have different impacts on the values of soil resistance at different suctions, which have been rarely evaluated. In this study, the combined effects of tillage and cover crop factors on the aggregate stability, tensile strength of aggregates and soil penetration resistance at different suctions were evaluated. The tillage factor in three methods including moldboard plow, chisel plow and no-tillage, and cover crop factor in three types including Vetch, Lathyrus and no cover crop at the factorial design with three replications was applied. The aggregate stability was measured using wet-sieving method. The tensile strength of aggregates and the penetration resistance of the undisturbed samples were determined by Dexter and Kroesbergen indirect method and a micro penetrometer, respectively. Soil management practices had the highest impact on the resistance characteristics at 30 kPa matric suction. No tillage treatment reduced the tensile strength due to the reduced tillage intensity and the intact soil. The conservation tillage with Lathyrus cover crop increased the stability of aggregates by 155 percent in comparison with the no tillage-no cover crop in the spring season. Also, conservation tillage with Lathyrus treatment increased the tensile strength of aggregates by 7-45 percent compared with other treatments in the autumn season. The conservation tillage without cover crop reduced the penetration resistance in comparison with most treatments by 4.5-99 percent at most matric suctions due to the reduced plowing and the decreased agricultural machinery traffic. Therefore, this study recommends using Lathyrus cover crop with conservation tillage in agricultural fields. The results of studying the aggregates’ strength with further research, could be used to determine the optimum time of agricultural operations.


Main Subjects

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