Savabi, M. R.; Golabi, M. H.; Abou-Arab, A. A.; Kladivko, E. J.
January 2008
Journal of Environmental Hydrology;2008, Vol. 16, p1
Academic Journal
Rainfall simulation and ponded infiltrometer methods were used to investigate the infiltration characteristics of no-till vs. conventional tillage farms. Seven pairs of no-till and conventional till farms under a corn-soybean rotation were selected on soils ranging from sandy loam to silty clay loams. The relative importance of surface residue and macroporosity (number of earthworms and middens) in both tillage systems was evaluated through the use of three different infiltration measurement techniques, and by the removal or addition of surface residue. The results of the ponded infiltration tests indicate that on the silt loam and silty clay loam soils, no-till farms had higher infiltration rates than those of conventional farms when earthworm activity and/or residue amount were higher in the no-till farms. On sandy loam soil, when earthworm activities were similar for both no-till and conventional farms, conventional farms had higher infiltration rates than the no-till farms. Under simulated rainfall, placing residue cover on the conventional plots generally increased final infiltration rates for silt loam and silty clay loam soils. Furthermore, in the absence of plant residues, the no-till farms had equal and/or significantly higher infiltration rates than the corresponding conventional farms on the sites with silt loam and silty clay loam soils. As was the case with ponding infiltration, the terminal infiltration rate for the no-till farm was less with the rainfall simulator than for the conventional farm, at the site with sandy loam soil.


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