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Identification of Soil Properties and Their Effects on Crop Production under the Influence of Tillage and Residue Treatment in Western Canada

Y. W. Wu1, X. Y. Xin2 *, J. Huang3, and K. Zhao4

  1. School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China
  2. Department of Civil Engineering, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada
  3. Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability Research, UR-NCEPU, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
  4. Ruminant Nutrition and Physiology Laboratory, College of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian 271018, China

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 613-533-6000; fax: 613-533-2128. E-mail address: (X.Y. Xin).


Soil provides crucial nutrients and water for the growth of canola, which is one of the most essential economic crops for prairie province in Canada. Therefore, effective and efficient methods are required to modify soil properties to improve crop development. This study systematically analyzed the combined effects of tillage operation and crop residue management on soil features. Thus, the relationship between soil properties and crop yield was also evaluated. More specifically, Aftermarket chopper treatment could cause rela tively higher soil moisture and temperature, while the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) treatment could also result in dramatically higher soil organic matter (SOM) loss than Aftermarket treatment. The significantly more soil water and slightly higher soil temperature created by Aftermarket treatment was beneficial for crop yield. Although OEM treatment could cause more SOM loss, the final crop yield through this method was still lower than that using Aftermarket treatment, implying that the influence of SOM loss on crop growth remained contestable. Meanwhile, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectra showed the peaks of amides and carboxylic acids was declined during the growth of canola, which indicated that these organic contents played an essential role in the crop development. Finally, the Aftermarket * Harrow treatment was more suitable for canola cultivation, with largest amount of crop harvest and short loss of soil organic contents in the meantime.

Keywords: soil, crop residue management, tillage, soil organic matter

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