A 2-year study on the effects of tillage and straw management on the soil quality and peanut yield in a wheat–peanut rotation system

Abstract

Purpose

Soil quality can not only affect soil and water conservation, soil nutrient cycling, soil structure, and stability but also impact the agricultural sustainability. The objective of our study was to evaluate the effects of different tillage and straw management methods on the soil quality indicators and peanut yield in a wheat–peanut rotation system in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain of China.

Materials and methods

Four treatments were investigated, including moldboard plow tillage with wheat straw return (MPS), rotary tillage with wheat straw return (CTS), moldboard plow tillage with wheat straw removal (MP), and rotary tillage with wheat straw removal (CT). We evaluated the soil bulk density (SBD), soil porosity (SP), soil water content (SWC), soil nutrient concentrations (TOC, TN, AP, and AK), soil aggregate, and peanut yield.

Results and discussion

The results showed that MPS improved soil physical and chemical properties by increasing soil porosity and soil water content, enhancing soil nutrient concentrations, promoting the formation of large macroaggregates, and increasing soil aggregate stability. These improvements in the physical and chemical properties of soil could influence plant growth and development by altering crop nutrient uptake, utilization, and translocation. Therefore, MPS increased dry matter and nitrogen accumulation, ultimately resulting an increase in peanut yield.

Conclusions

Different tillage and straw management methods revealed varied effects for soil quality indicators and peanut yield. As a result, MPS may be a suitable agricultural management method for improving soil quality and increasing peanut yield in a wheat–peanut rotation system.

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Funding

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFD1000900), the Shandong Key Research and Development Program (2018YFJH0601-3), the Major Agricultural Applied Technological Innovation Projects in Shandong Province (Grant No. SD2019ZZ11), and the Shandong Modern Agricultural Technology and Industry System (Grant No. SDAIT-04-01).

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Xiangdong Li and Dongqing Yang contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by Zhaoxin Liu, Fang Gao, Ying Wang, Huajiang Lai, and Xiaoyi Pan. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Jihao Zhao. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Dongqing Yang or Xiangdong Li.

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Zhao, J., Liu, Z., Gao, F. et al. A 2-year study on the effects of tillage and straw management on the soil quality and peanut yield in a wheat–peanut rotation system. J Soils Sediments 21, 1698–1712 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-021-02908-z

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Keywords

  • Tillage
  • Straw return
  • Soil quality
  • Dry matter accumulation
  • Yield