The impact of five long-term contrasting tillage systems on maize productivity parameters
Maize productivity is mainly constrained by the climate, meteorological and soil conditions, and agro-technological practice. Reduced primary tillage intensity might be a method to optimize the complex interactions between these conditions. An 8-year field experiment was designed to test this. The aim of the experiment was to establish the influence of deep and shallow ploughing, chiselling, disking and no-tillage systems on parameters of maize productivity. No-tillage resulted in a significant decrease in maize stand density compared with deep and shallow ploughing, as well as chiselling, while maize canopy height and dry biomass was slightly higher in the no-tillage system. Nevertheless, in no-tillage plots the maize yield was insignificantly lower than in deeply and shallowly ploughed plots (on average 3.5–6.4% less). Overall, long-term reduction of primary tillage had less impact on maize productivity parameters than meteorological conditions during the vegetation period.