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Mitigation of clayey soil compaction managed under no-tillage

Nunes, Márcio Renato, Denardin, José Eloir, Pauletto, Eloy Antonio, Faganello, Antonio, Pinto, Luiz Fernando Spinelli
Soil & tillage research 2015 v.148 pp. 119-126
Nitisols, Zea mays, clay soils, corn, no-tillage, plant development, porosity, root systems, soil compaction, soil density, soil penetration resistance
Soil compaction has always been a problem to the agricultural productivity, mainly in clayey soils under the no-tillage (NT). Alternatives to mitigate this problem are necessary. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of seeder equipped with fixed shanks openers, working at three depths, in a Ferralic Nitisol (Rhodic), under NT on the mitigation of soil compaction and corn (Zea mays L.) plant development. The test comprised three treatments regarding the depth at which the shank openers of a seeder used to sow corn worked: openers reaching up to 0.05m; openers reaching up to 0.07m; and openers reaching up to 0.17m. The effect of these treatments was evaluated in relation to the determination of soil physical parameters, and corn plant parameters. The use of a seeder equipped with fixed shanks openers up to 0.17m depth caused an increase in soil macroporosity and total porosity, and a decrease in soil bulk density, soil resistance to penetration and degree of compactness in the layer between 0.07 and 0.17m. The improved physical conditions of the soil in this layer led to a further development of the root system of plants in greater depth, and consequently to a better development of corn plants with higher stalk diameter, root density and root length. The use of a seeder equipped with fixed shanks openers working up to 0.17m depth, therefore, promoted physical improvement to the soil, favoring the development of corn plants, and presenting potential to mitigate the compaction of clayey soils under NT.