Effects of Different Tillage Systems on Fuel Savings and Reduction of CO2 Emissions in Production of Silage Corn in Eastern Slovenia
D. Stajnko1, M. Lakota1, F. Vučajnk2, R. Bernik2
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1University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture, Vrbanska 30, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia 2University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2009;18(4):711–716
Soil tillage is one of the greatest energy consumers in agriculture and also a significant contributor to CO2 emissions. For this reason, field experiments with different tillage systems and their influence on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions were carried out at two locations in Eastern Slovenia. Three tillage methods were researched: direct seeding after gliphosat spraying (DS-G), reduced tillage with chisel plough and seeding (RT), and conventional tillage with mouldboard plough, rotary harrow and seeding (CT). The testing crop was corn silage (Zea mays L.) in rotation after ryegrass. The highest fuel consumption was under the CT system; the CO2 emission was 225.03 kg ha-1 on silty clay loam and 188.06 kg ha-1 on silty loam. The use of the DSG system saved on average 164.41 kg ha-1 of diesel oil and the use of the RT system, 104.77 kg ha-1. At both locations, the highest yield of dry matter was produced with CT, followed by DS-G and RT; however, on silty clay loam the difference was significant. The alternative soil tillage reduced the CO2 emission on average by 79.45% (DS-G) and 61.07% (RT). Presuming the use of the CT system in the growing of corn silage on arable land of Eastern Slovenia would decrease from its current 93.7% by 30% as forecasted under the EU soil tillage trend, the total annual emissions of CO2 could be reduced by 1.08 Gg, or 24.0%.