Comparison of energy requirements of traditional and conservative soil tillage for maize cultivation in central Italy
Fanigliulo, R.; Cervellini, C.; Brannetti, G.; Grilli, R.; Pochi D.
XVIIth World Congress of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Quebec City, Canada, June 13-17, 2010
|Kind of publication:|
Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE/SCGAB)
|Abstract in Italian:|
|Abstract in English:|
Traditional soil tillage for summer maize cultivation in Central Italy is based on medium depth ploughing followed by refinement of the surface for preparing the seedbed. Such a technique can involve excessive energy costs, loss of nutrients, decrease of natural soil fertility and, in some cases, increase of erosion phenomena caused by wind and water. These negative effects can be reduced by introducing conservative soil tillage techniques, such as tilling without inversion of layers and minimum tillage, which aim at maintaining a permanent soil cover and at reducing the number and the depth of the interventions. The CPMA of CRA-ING is specialized in testing of machines for soil tillage and sowing. During its activity, the tests of more than 50 machines of various types have been carried out on soil characterized by homogeneous clay-loam texture, widespread in Central Italy, providing a complete picture of their dynamic-energetic performances and of the work quality. Through the combination of data of the properly selected machines, according to the criteria of homogeneity, it has been possible to compose 5 tillage methods (2 traditional and 3 conservative) aimed at maize sowing, both in spring and summer in succession to wheat. Through the analysis of the parameters measured in the tests, for each method an estimate of the quality of work and the energy requirements has been provided. The results show increasing energy savings progressively moving from traditional to more conservative tillage methods, up to a maximum of 70%, without significant quality decrease of seedbed