The objective of this trial was to study the effect of tillage reduction (in depth and with respect to degree of disturbance; inverting vs. noninverting) on main indicators of soil fertility / soil health on-farm under dry climatic conditions. Indicators were: earthworm abundances and diversity, mesofauna (collembola, mites, enchytraeids), feeding activity, yields, besides standard soil properties (C, N., Chwl, Nhwl) among others. Special emphasis was laid upon the carbon development under these two tillage systems, and soil structure. C-dynamics was modelled with Candy Carbon Balance (Franko et al. 2011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2011.07.019); soil structure was assessed by means of X-ray computed tomography (Joschko et al. 2022). The data revealed an increase of soil health due to the reduction of tillage on these soils, and astrong relationship between soil biodiversity and carbon development in the top soil (Joschko, Kuka, et al, in preparation). The long-term 74 ha- experiment trial is located in Brandenburg, North-East Germany. The soil is a luvisol. Since 1996, reduced tillage (15-18 cm) was established in one-half of the field and the other half continued to be conventionally tilled (25 cm). Within this field, 42 plots (2 m × 15 m) were permanently installed in 4 transects following the main slope direction for yield assessment (21 plots for each tillage treatment). Soil properties (biol., physical, chemical) were autocorrelated between plots. Therefore, spatial analyses such as time-series analyses and geostatistics could be applied to this experiment (e.g. Joschko et al. 2009). Innovative amendments and their effect on soil fertility/soil health were also tested, such as lake sediments (in 2005 and 2007; Joschko et al. 2010).
The long-term 74 ha- experiment trial is located in Brandenburg, Germany and started in 1996. The soil is a luvisol. Reduced tillage (15-18 cm) was implemented in one-half of the field and conventional tillage (25 cm) on the other part. For each tillage treatment, 21 plots (2 m × 15 m) were permanently installed in four transects following the main slope direction for yield assessment.
The No-till trial compares soil chemical, physical and biological characteristics between soils with conventional tillage (25cm) andsoil with reduced tillage (18 cm) since 1996.
Comparison of soil charactersitics between soils with conventional tillage (depth 25 cm) and soils with reduced tillage (depth 15-18 cm).