Abdul Basir1, Mohammad Tariq Jan2, Mohammad Jamal khan3 and Muhammad Arif2, (1)Agronomy, University of Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, Swabi, Pakistan (2)Agronomy, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan (3)Soil and Environmental Sciences, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
Continuous cereal based crop rotation; inappropriate cultivation, burning and removing crop residues deteriorate soil physiochemical characteristics in western plain of Pakistan. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different tillage systems and crop residues management on soil physiochemical properties. The study was conducted for two years at Cereal Crops Research Institute Pirsabak (34oN Latitude, 72oE Longitude and 288m Altitude) Nowshera, Pakistan. The treatments of the experiment were three tillage systems rotavator (10 cm), cultivator (20 cm) and moldboard plough (30 cm) were the main plots, whereas the subplots were maize residue management practices such as physical removal, burning and incorporation with and without N (120 kg N ha-1 ) fertilizer application. The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with split plot treatment arrangement having four replications in each year. Result of the study showed that reduce tillage system (rotavator) had improved soil moisture content, soil bulk density, soil mineral nitrogen, soil total nitrogen and soil organic carbon. Similarly, sole residue incorporation had significantly improved most of the soil physiochemical properties. Residue incorporation along with application of recommended dose of fertilizer nitrogen (120 kg N ha-1) had also improved soil properties as compared to bare and burn treatments. We concluded that reduced tillage and corn residue incorporation alone or in combination with recommended dose of fertilizer nitrogen in a continuous cereal based cropping system improved soil physiochemical properties and crop productivity.