Journal of Crop Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 13–22 | Cite as

The Influence of Tillage Frequency on Crop Productivity in Sub-Tropical to Semi-Arid Climates

  • Mark H CrawfordEmail author
  • K. Bell
  • S. Kodur
  • YP Dang
Research Article


Strategic tillage (ST), an occasional tillage in a continuous no-till (NT) farming system, is already being utilized by many landholders in the Northern Grains Region (NGR) of Australia to control weeds. But the impact on productivity (yield), both short- and long-term, has been largely under investigated. This study focused on yield data from 14 on-farm ST in NT experiments from 2012 to 2014 (3 years/4 seasons) and the comparison of the re-interpreted results of a long-term (27 years) tillage experiment. This study explored production impacts of tillage on long-term NT systems over the short and longer term. Results from tillage-frequency studies across the NGR demonstrated that overall grain yield was not significantly impacted. A long-term tillage trial at Biloela showed wheat (Triticum aestivum) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) grain yields were similar across no till, stubble mulch and reduced tillage treatments, these in turn were all significantly higher than aggressive tillage without stubble retention treatments. Dealing with increased herbicide resistance often associated with reduced tillage and no-till systems poses a real time issue with landholders in the NGR. This analysis of historical yield data together with the more recent strategic tillage data can aid in selecting the appropriate soil management option by providing tillage impacts on yield.

Key words

Conservation agriculture strategic tillage no-till wheat and sorghum yield 


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Crop Science and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural ResourcesMines and Energy (DNRME)ToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of AgricultureFisheries and Forestry (DAF)ToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.Institute for Agriculture and the EnvironmentThe University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  4. 4.School of Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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