Occasional soil tillage, liming, and nitrogen fertilization on long-term no-tillage system
Abstract: The objective of this work was to evaluate the residual effects of occasional soil tillage in a 17-year-old, no-tillage system, associated with liming and nitrogen fertilization, on the crop yields and chemical properties of a very clayey Oxisol in the South of Brazil. A randomized complete block design in split-split plots was used, with two soil managements (with or without plowing), two liming treatments (with or without the required dose to raise base saturation to 70%), five N doses applied on side-dress (0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 times the recommended amounts), and four replicates. A rotation system was used with corn and soybean in the summer, and with wheat and black oats in the winter. The residual effects of occasional soil tillage in a consolidated no-tillage system do not supplant those of liming applied on soil surface, in periods of water deficit, which subsidizes the recommendation to maintain the system consolidated. Excess N fertilization in no-tillage, with liming applied only on soil surface, may harm wheat yield, acidifying the topsoil and leaching Mg2+ to the subsurface soil layers. Without liming, soil acidification is more intense with N fertilization, which, however, favors the accumulation of organic matter on soil surface in a consolidated no-tillage system.