Special Issue "Conservation Tillage in Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Farming Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 January 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Claudia Di Bene
Website
Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: carbon sink in agricultural soils; cropping systems diversification and simulation models; GHG emissions from agricultural soils; climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Roberta Farina
Website
Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA-AA), 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: ecosystem models (RothC and EPIC); soil–crop management and climate change; soil C dynamics in Mediterranean semiarid areas
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Dr. Rosa Francaviglia
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment - Via della Navicella, 2-4, 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: carbon sink in agricultural soils; cropping systems diversification and simulation models; climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes

Guest Editor
Soil and Water Department, Estación Experimental de Aula Dei (EEAD), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), 1005 Montañana Ave., 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
Interests: agronomy; soil sciences; crop diversification; climate change; soil fertility; soil organic carbon; conservation agriculture; direct drilling; greenhouse gas; ecosystem management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Conservation tillage, such as no-tillage (also named sod-seeding) and minimum tillage, refers to tillage systems that minimize mechanical operations, reducing soil disturbance and preserving more surface residues than conventional tillage. Conservation tillage can provide sensible economic advantages for farmers, associated with reductions in work time, machinery wear and tear, and energy use. Benefits for agricultural systems include soil protection from erosion, reduced soil compaction, enhanced storage of soil organic matter, and a general improvement of soil quality. In addition, tillage reduction commonly increases water holding capacity and infiltration rates, which is particularly relevant for areas where conservation tillage can perform best since water availability in the soil is limited by climatic constraints.
This Special Issue intends to cover the state-of-the-art and recent progress in different aspects related to the adoption of conservation tillage in a wide range of cropping systems across different agro-ecological strategies.
All types of contributions (original research, reviews, and meta-analysis) providing new insights on conservation agriculture are welcome. The Editors encourage submissions to evaluate the advantages of conservation tillage over conventional systems in terms of agronomic, economic, and environmental aspects.

Dr. Claudia Di Bene
Dr. Roberta Farina
Dr. Rosa Francaviglia
Dr. Jorge Álvaro-Fuentes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agronomy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • tillage
  • cover crops
  • crop rotations
  • crop production
  • agricultural economics
  • soil organic carbon
  • soil quality
  • water quality
  • soil erosion
  • GHG emissions

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Factors Controlling Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration of Highland Agricultural Areas in the Mae Chaem Basin, Northern Thailand
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020305 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Understanding the effect of the environment, crop types, and land management practices on the organic carbon sequestration of top soil is crucial for adopting management strategies in highland agricultural areas. The objectives of this study are: (1) to estimate top soil organic carbon [...] Read more.
Understanding the effect of the environment, crop types, and land management practices on the organic carbon sequestration of top soil is crucial for adopting management strategies in highland agricultural areas. The objectives of this study are: (1) to estimate top soil organic carbon density (SOCD) of different crop types and (2) to analyze the factors controlling top SOCD in highland agricultural areas. The top soil layers from 0 to 30 cm depths were collected from the Mae Chaem basin, Northern Thailand. The results showed that the highest top SOCD was found soil used for growing upland rice, which contained an average of 58.71 Mg C ha−1. A significant difference between the top SOCD was detected between areas where minimum tillage and conventional tillage of various crops, with average of values 59.17 and 41.33 Mg C ha−1, respectively, for areas growing strawberries; 61.14 and 37.58 Mg C ha−1, respectively, for cabbage, and 71.15 and 39.55 Mg C ha−1, respectively, for maize. At higher elevation, the top SOCD was high, which may be due to high clay content and low temperature. Increased use of chemical fertilizers lead to increases in top SOCD, resulting in increased crop yields. Elevation, bulk density, N and K2O fertilizers were the main factors controlling the top SOCD at all sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Tillage in Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Various Tillage Systems on Productivity of Narrow-Leaved Lupin-Winter Wheat-Winter Triticale-Winter Barley Rotation
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020304 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Legumes are increasingly important crops in most European Union (EU) countries because of the growing demand for feed protein, and also because they have been shown to improve the characteristics of soil. The main part of the crop rotation is taken up by [...] Read more.
Legumes are increasingly important crops in most European Union (EU) countries because of the growing demand for feed protein, and also because they have been shown to improve the characteristics of soil. The main part of the crop rotation is taken up by cereals, but they are connected with undesirable side effects, such as the unilateral utilization of ingredients and the heightened risk of plant diseases, e.g., Fusarium. Simplification of farming methods has become increasingly popular as growers search for cheaper production technologies. However, the effects of long-term simplification in tillage practices on the production and economics of narrow-leafed lupine (NL) cultivation have not been studied. In 2012–2016, we carried out a field experiment in Poland with a one-factorial design with four replications. The aim of the experiment was to evaluate the productivity effect of conventional tillage (CT), reduced tillage (RT) and no-tillage (NT) on NL-winter wheat (WW)-winter triticale (WT)-winter barley (WB), rotation. Our results show that the productivity of this crop rotation was lower under RT and NT systems than under CT. From a practical point of view, the reduction of cultivation in rotation with 75% of cereals caused a decrease in yield in all species, which can result in resign of using the RT and NT in conditions of Albic Luvisols soil, as classified according to the World Reference Base (WRB). The highest incomes were found when the CT system was used with NL. Although income losses exceeded the value of savings in both minimalized soil tillage systems (RT and NT), all tillage systems of NL were profitable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Tillage in Sustainable Agro-Ecosystems)
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