Water Erosion Reduction Using Different Soil Tillage Approaches for Maize (Zea mays L.) in the Czech Republic | Land Portal

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October 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

In today’s agriculture, maize is considered to be one of the major feed, food and industrial crops. Cultivation of maize by inappropriate agricultural practices and on unsuitable sites is connected with specific risks of soil degradation, mainly due to water erosion of the soil. The aim of this study was to evaluate the yielding parameters, fodder quality and anti-erosion efficiency of different methods of conservation tillage for maize in two areas (Jevíčko—JEV and Skoupý—SKO) with different climate and soil conditions in the Czech Republic in the period 2016–2018, using multivariate exploratory techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and factor analysis (FA). Four variants of soil tillage methods were analysed: Conventional Tillage (CT), two slightly different Strip-Till techniques (ST) and Direct Sowing (DS). The analysed parameters were: dry mass of the plants, height of the plants, starch content (SC), organic matter digestibility (OMD) and content of neutral detergent fibre (NDF), soil loss by erosion and surface runoff. The multivariate exploratory techniques PCA and FA significantly differed in two categories of techniques in both locations. The first category consists of soil conservation techniques (SCT): ST (JEV/SKO) and DS (JEV). These techniques are characterised by lower yields of dry mass, lower height of plants, forage quality equal to CT, but a high level of protection of the soil against erosion. The second category consists of CT (JEV and SKO) and partially of DS (SKO). These treatments are characterised by high dry mass production, higher plants, high forage quality, but a feeble capacity of protection of the soil against erosion. The results of the study confirm the presumption of the positive influence of introduction and application of new agronomical practices in the areas of interest and other areas with similar natural conditions in the sense of sustainable management for agricultural management of agricultural land for the conditions of the Czech Republic and therefore of Central and Eastern Europe. PCA and FA were used as an effective method for comprehensive evaluation of the use of STC in agricultural practice.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Menšík, Ladislav
Kincl, David
Nerušil, Pavel
Srbek, Jan
Hlisnikovský, Lukáš
Smutný, Vladimír


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