European Journal of Experimental Biology Open Access

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The effect of four types of tillage operations on soil moisture and morphology and performance of three varieties of cotton

Saied Khajeh Dangolani and M. C. Narob

Golestan Province is located in Northern Iran and is one of the cotton-rich provinces of the country. This region used to have the highest cotton cultivation, but recently the cultivated area has significantly decreased to the point of oblivion due to such factors as long growth period, high cost, and being uneconomical. Another strategic product of Golestan Province is wheat, which due to its fibrous root can be alternately cultivated with cotton. Cultivating two strategic products in the same year and in the same field is important both for the agriculturist and for the province in terms of food supply, employment, and textile raw materials. No-till farming—i.e. sowing in undisturbed soil and in wheat straw residue—allows the agriculturist to cultivate cotton shortly after harvesting wheat. Another benefit of no-till farming is the reduced growth period. This method is the best solution for increasing the cultivated area and income of farmers. The present research examines the effect of four types of tillage operations on the performance of three varieties of cotton in a split-plot design in randomized complete block design in the Cotton Research Institute of Hashemabad Agricultural Station. The results of three years of experiment suggest the significance of performance and performance components, where low-till cultivation leads to 695.8, 227.8, and 129.5 kg/ha increase in yield compared to disk, chisel/disk, and moldboard/disk treatments. Also the number of bolls has increased at the 99% confidence interval, while increase in boll size has not been significant. Further, morphological measurements showed that plant height significantly changed, while the number of monopodial and sympodial branches did not change significantly. Finally, the results show that no-till system increases soil’s water storage capacity.