Crop yield response to long-term reduced tillage in a conventional and organic farming system on a sandy loam soil

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Reduced tillage has multiple positive effects on soil properties. However, reduced tillage can also lead to negative effects, such as a decrease in crop productivity. There is limited data on the effects of reduced tillage on root and tuber crop yield in temperate zones. In this study we assessed the effects of reduced tillage on crop yield in the Netherlands with a focus on important cash crops for arable farmers: potato, carrot, onion, and sugar beet. Three tillage treatments were selected including conventional tillage (deep ploughing) and two reduced tillage treatments consisting of shallow non-inversion tillage with (RTS) or without subsoiling (RT). These tillage treatments were tested in a long term experiment with a conventional and organic crop rotation system that included grass and grain crops and important cash crops. We found similar or even higher marketable yields in reduced tillage for 12 (RTS) and 11 (RT) of the 13 crops grown over a 10 year period, compared to conventional tillage. However, yield of onion and cabbage in one or both reduced tillage systems was lower than in conventional tillage. In both cases, yield losses in both RT treatments could be partly related to negative effects of crop residues from the preceding cover crop. Our results provide evidence that yield levels of crops grown in reduced tillage systems can compete with crop yields in deep inversion tillage systems. However, crop residue management and seedbed preparation remain a challenge in reduced tillage systems, requiring further attention in research and dissemination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2023 Book of Abstracts: Wageningen Soil Conference
Subtitle of host publicationWorking together on solutions for a sustainable world
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventWageningen Soil Conference 2023 - Wageningen
Duration: 28 Aug 20231 Sept 2023


ConferenceWageningen Soil Conference 2023
Internet address


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