TILLAGE METHOD AND SOIL FERTILIZATION EFFECTS ON CROP YIELD AND NITRATE LEACHING
Regardless of the tillage method applied, MF resulted in higher yields of oat, wheat and field corn than M or F. Soybean yield was not influenced significantly by either treatments, although the highest yield occurred in the RTM plot. The tillage treatment did not significantly affect soil pH, total nitrogen and microbial biomass nitrogen, but the application of farmyard manure increased these parameters in the soil surface layer (0–20 cm). Amounts of soil organic matter changed in accordance with the amount of crop residues reincorporated, especially in the surface layer.
During wheat and field corn cropping, RTM plots resulted in larger amounts of leached nitrate than the other plots. This was caused by continuous mineralization of organic nitrogen from the manure and increased water permeability of soil in these plots.