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Evaluation of Energy and Environmental Aspects of Reduced Tillage Systems Applied in Maize Cultivation

Authors: E. Šarauskis, L. Masilionytė, K. Romaneckas, Z. Kriaučiūnienė, S. Buragiene


In maize growing technologies, tillage technological operations are the most time-consuming and require the greatest fuel input. Substitution of conventional tillage, involving deep ploughing, by other reduced tillage methods can reduce technological production costs, diminish soil degradation and environmental pollution from greenhouse gas emissions, as well as improve economic competitiveness of agricultural produce.

Experiments designed to assess energy and environmental aspects associated with different reduced tillage systems, applied in maize cultivation were conducted at Aleksandras Stulginskis University taking into account Lithuania’s economic and climate conditions. The study involved 5 tillage treatments: deep ploughing (DP, control), shallow ploughing (SP), deep cultivation (DC), shallow cultivation (SC) and no-tillage (NT).

Our experimental evidence suggests that with the application of reduced tillage systems it is feasible to reduce fuel consumption by 13-58% and working time input by 8.4% to nearly 3-fold, to reduce the cost price of maize cultivation technological operations, decrease environmental pollution with CO2 gas by 30 to 146 kg ha-1, compared with the deep ploughing.

Keywords: Fuel Consumption, maize, CO2 emission, reduced tillage, energy and environmental assessment

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