INFLUENCE OF CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION SYSTEM ON SOIL ORGANIC CARBON, BULK DENSITY AND WATER STABLE AGGREGATES IN A TROPICAL RAINFED AGRO ECOSYSTEMA. Mohanty, K. N. Mishra, P. K. Roul, S. N. Dash and K.K. Panigrahi
The effect of conservation agriculture production system involving tillage (minimum and conventional) with cropping systems (maize sole and maize cowpea intercrop) and succeeding cover crops (fallow, horsegram and toria mustard), on SOC, water stable aggregates and BD were studied in a tropical rainfed agro-ecosystem. The soils are formed from colluvial-alluvial deposits and belong to Fluventic Haplustepts. Practice of MT decreased the soil BD (from 1.29 to 1.24 Mg m-3), increased SOC (+20.1%) and macro-aggregates (+12.6%) with concomitant decrease in proportion of micro-aggregates (-23.5%) over CT systems. Inclusion of cover crops in the tillage practices enhanced the SOC (+9.4%) over NCC (fallow). Elevation of SOM due to residue inputs and its protection under MT systems accelerated the formation of macro-aggregates through an increase in biomass content in the soils under this rainfed agro-ecosystem.
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