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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2015, Volume 2, Issue 2 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2015058

The effect of conservation tillage on crop yield in China

1. College of Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China.2. Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg R3T 5V6, Canada

Accepted: 2015-06-24 Available online: 2015-09-25

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Traditional agricultural practices have resulted in decreased soil fertility, shortage of water resources and deterioration of agricultural ecological environment, which are seriously affecting grain production. Conservation tillage (CT) research has been developed and applied in China since the 1960s and 1970s, and a series of development policies have been issued by the Chinese government. Recent research and application have shown that CT has positive effects on crop yields in China. According to the data from the Conservation Tillage Research Center (CTRC), Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the mean crop yield increase can be at least 4% in double cropping systems in the North China Plain and 6% in single cropping systems in the dryland areas of North-east and North-west China. Crop yield increase was particularly significant in dryland areas and drought years. The mechanism for the yield increase in CT system can be attributed to enhanced soil water content and improved soil properties. Development strategies have been implemented to accelerate the adoption of CT in China.

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