No-tillage and high-residue practices reduce soil water evaporation

  • Published source details Mitchell J.P., Singh P.N., Wallender W.W., Munk D.S., Wroble J.F., Horwath W.R., Hogan P., Roy R. & Hanson B.R. (2012) No-tillage and high-residue practices reduce soil water evaporation. California Agriculture, 66, 55-61.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Water: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Water: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2010 in a wheat-maize field in the San Joaquin Valley, California, USA, found more water in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Water availability: More water was found in soils with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage (20–23% vs 12–14% volumetric water content). Methods: No tillage or conventional tillage was used on three plots each (1.5 x 91 m plots). A disk plough and a chisel plough (30 cm depth) were used for conventional tillage, in April 2009–2010 (after harvesting the wheat). In plots with no tillage, soils were not disturbed after harvesting the wheat. Wheat and maize were grown in rotation. Soil water content was measured after tillage (0–20 cm depth, about 12 reflectometer readings/plot and 4–6 soil cores/plot, 7.5 cm diameter).


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