According to the kind of opener applied, no-tillage seeders can variously modify soil physical properties in relation to soil and climate conditions, thus potentially affecting crop emergence and early growth. The technological evolution of seeders for direct drilling of arable crops, progressively achieved in recent years, has been considerable, but new improvements now available need to be individually tested. In a field trial at Udine (NE Italy), the effects of a new kind of wide-sweep opener (i.e., side coulters curved upwards in their final part and slightly angled towards the direction of work) on soil physical properties in the seed zone and on crop emergence and early root growth of maize were evaluated in four different soils over a 2-year period (2002–2003), in comparison with the widely used double-disk opener. With respect to the double-disk opener, in general the wide-sweep type led to higher soil–residue mixing—without excessive reduction of the soil-covering index being observed, 27 and 6%, respectively. The wide-sweep opener also showed lower bulk density and soil penetration resistance in the top 5-cm soil layer of the seed furrow, although no greater root length density was found in maize at the three-leaf stage, probably due to the smoothing effect caused by the side coulters at the seeding depth. A certain delay in plant emergence in some cases was also revealed for the wide-sweep opener, which may be related to the lower soil/seed contact. Deviations from this general behaviour in the various soils (texture and initial conditions) are discussed.
Effects of a new wide-sweep opener for no-till planter on seed zone properties and root establishment in maize (Zea mays L.): a comparison with double-disk opener / VAMERALI T.; BERTOCCO M; SARTORI S. - In: SOIL & TILLAGE RESEARCH. - ISSN 0167-1987. - 89(2006), pp. 196-209. [10.1016/j.still.2005.07.011]
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