A Comparison of Energy Consumption of Different Tillage Systems in Forage Maize Production when in Rotation with Canola



Efficient energy use in agriculture sector is one of the prerequisites to sustainable agriculture, because it allows financial savings, fossil resources preservation along with decreasing trend of air pollution. This research was conducted at the Agricultural Research Field of Zanjan University to determine the level of input energy in different tillage systems in forage maize production when in rotation with canola and to investigate the impact of different tillage systems on growth indices. The study was planned as a split-block design with three tillage systems as main plots and three cultivation systems as sub plots and in four replications. The tillage treatments were: moldboard plow+disk (A1); cyclo-tiller (A2); and minimum-till (A3) the cultivation treatments being: cultivator with furrower (B1); cultivator without furrower with the tendency of the cutting share towards inside (B2); cultivator without furrower with the tendency of the cutting share towards outside (B3). For a comparison of energy consumption, the variabls of: forward speed, tillage time and fuel consumption for each plot were calculated. All the three methods of tillage were carried out at same soil moisture level and crop residues conditions. The energy consumption in the three treatments were recorded as 1990.6, 1157.2 and 558.7 MJ ha-1 respectively showing significant differences, in terms of energy consumption, among the main treatments. Also the interaction of tillage and cultivation was significant at a 5% probability level. Finally, according to the obtained results, minimum-till method is suggested 10 to be employed in the study area.