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Title: The establishment of arable crops in UK cereal stubbles using strip tillage
Author: Morris, Nathan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 0617
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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Recent advances in crop establishment techniques have led to the introduction of conservation tillage systems that enables a reduction in the number of field operations and associated costs whilst maintaining or increasing financial margins. A recent development in conservation tillage systems in the United States was the adoption of strip tillage that was defined as the disturbance of less than one-third of a total field by cultivation. The aim of strip tillage is to produce a narrow, residue free, cultivated zone that is suitable for drilling crops into whilst leaving a significant area uncultivated that maintains crop residue on the soil surface with benefits both to soil stability and biodiversity. This study reported in this thesis focuses on the use ofa strip tillage implement to establish Brassica napus and Beta vulgaris in two soil types found in the United Kingdom. Crop residue has been reported to reduce crop emergence and this study found a reduction in percentage emergence by up to 40% when straw was mixed into the top 5 cm of soil or when straw and seed was placed on the soil surface. The strip tillage unit using a tine and disc combination operating in a range of light soil types gave disturbance patterns that were independent of forward speed in the range of 6.0 to 12.0 km/h but tine penetration was often limited. The star wheel was found to remove up to 80% of straw residue from within row. Using strip tillage was found to create a tilth either similar to, or finer than, plough tillage but initially gave poorer emergence and growth. Overall performance of using strip tillage to establish Brassica napus and Beta vulgaris was found to be equivalent to a conventional plough tillage system resulting in no penalties to crop yield or quality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available