Effect of Conservation Agriculture on broad bean and maize productivity in Egypt
Three field experiments were performed in Gemmieza agricultural experimental research station, AL-Gharbia governorate during the three successive seasons of summer, winter 2013 and summer 2014 under clay soil condition to study the effect of three different tillage systems (conventional tillage (CT), conservation agriculture (CA) and semi-CA (SCA) and two fertilizers (recommended doses of NPK and 1/2 recommended doses of it) on yield and its components of broad bean (Egypt-1 variety) and maize (single cross-10) through (maize-broad bean-maize (M/B/M) cropping system. As for the tillage system effect, During the summer season of 2013: results of maize traits revealed that, all the tested tillage systems not had significant effect on maize plant height (cm),cone length(cm),cone weight(g), biological yield (kg/fad) and seed yield (kg/fad) but the conservation agriculture (CA) scored the significant higher values. Regarding, the winter season of 2013/2014): the results showed that, CA system increased significantly all studied broad bean traits as compared with the other tillage systems. Referring to, the summer season of 2014: CA system scored the significant high values for the studied maize traits. As for the effect of studied NPK fertilizer levels, results indicated that, the recommended doses of NPK significantly favored values of the studied maize and broad bean traits during the winter and summer season 2013/2014. As compared by 1/2 dose of recommended NPK fertilizers in the first season (summer, 2013) respectively, while, there are no-significance effect between the two fertilizer levels for maize traits in the second and third season (winter, 2013 & summer, 2014) respectively. Regarding to, the first order interaction effect between the tested factors, results of the three trial seasons revealed that, cultivating maize and broad bean under the condition of conservation agriculture (CA) and fed by the recommended dose of NPK or the half dose of NPK fertilizers scored the greatest values for above mentioned measurements, and differences between them not reach to the significant level with the exception of all maize traits during the summer of 2013 season. On contrast, the lowest values was resulted under the condition of conventional tillage (CT) and fed by the half-recommended dose of NPK fertilizers. As for The recorded improvement of soil fertility: results indicated that, CA led to decrease the EC by 6.25 % and increased the organic matter (OM) by 276.08 % and available N by 160.71 %, P by 254.54 % and K by 163.18% under the condition of half recommended dose of NPK fertilizer as compared with the analysis before starting the project plan. It is worthy to mention, about the comparison between CT and CA system under the condition of half NPK dose fertilizer that, CA exposed its superiority to improve the soil content of OM by 15.33 %, available N by 21.67 %, and P by 11.42 % and K by 42.97 % as compared with CT system.
CA, CT, SCA, NPK, Maize, broad bean, crop sequence, yield