Conservation agriculture practices, such as reduced tillage and the incorporation of cover crops, play a crucial role in improving the sustainability of organic farming systems. The aim of this two-year field trial was to evaluate five different organic technical itineraries (ST, IN1, IN2, M1, and M2) which differed on soil management practices adopted before processing tomato transplantation and regarding weed control strategies performed. Soil management practices in comparison consisted of conventional deep tillage (ST and M1) or reduced tillage together with the use of a cover crop mixture composed of common vetch and barley (IN1, IN2, and M2). Weed control strategies involved the use of biodegradable mulch together with mechanical weeding (ST and M2), or false seedbed technique and mechanical weeding (IN1, IN2, and M1). Weed biomass at harvest, tomato yield, and the operational and economic performance of each of the technical itineraries was evaluated. No significant differences emerged in terms of weed biomass at harvest between itineraries. Best yield results were obtained tendentially by ST and M2 when biodegradable mulch was used, with values equal to 42.14 and 41.47 Mg ha−1 in 2020 and 30.68 and 31.19 Mg ha−1 in 2021, respectively. Even though the itineraries where mulch film was used (ST and M2) resulted in significantly onerous processes, they also obtained the highest gross income compared to the other itineraries, with values of 30,998 and 29,900 € ha−1 in 2020, and of 16,060 and 15,186 € ha−1 in 2021, respectively. These results revealed the importance of using mulching to help cope with critical climatic conditions, such as drought seasons. Further studies are needed to evaluate the yield and economic advantages of both the effect of shallower soil tillage over a longer period in this specific context and the creation of ground cover with cover crops managed as dead mulch.

Effects of Conservation Agriculture Practices on Tomato Yield and Economic Performance

Gagliardi L.;Sportelli M.
;
Fontanelli M.;Sbrana M.;Luglio S. M.;Raffaelli M.;Peruzzi A.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Conservation agriculture practices, such as reduced tillage and the incorporation of cover crops, play a crucial role in improving the sustainability of organic farming systems. The aim of this two-year field trial was to evaluate five different organic technical itineraries (ST, IN1, IN2, M1, and M2) which differed on soil management practices adopted before processing tomato transplantation and regarding weed control strategies performed. Soil management practices in comparison consisted of conventional deep tillage (ST and M1) or reduced tillage together with the use of a cover crop mixture composed of common vetch and barley (IN1, IN2, and M2). Weed control strategies involved the use of biodegradable mulch together with mechanical weeding (ST and M2), or false seedbed technique and mechanical weeding (IN1, IN2, and M1). Weed biomass at harvest, tomato yield, and the operational and economic performance of each of the technical itineraries was evaluated. No significant differences emerged in terms of weed biomass at harvest between itineraries. Best yield results were obtained tendentially by ST and M2 when biodegradable mulch was used, with values equal to 42.14 and 41.47 Mg ha−1 in 2020 and 30.68 and 31.19 Mg ha−1 in 2021, respectively. Even though the itineraries where mulch film was used (ST and M2) resulted in significantly onerous processes, they also obtained the highest gross income compared to the other itineraries, with values of 30,998 and 29,900 € ha−1 in 2020, and of 16,060 and 15,186 € ha−1 in 2021, respectively. These results revealed the importance of using mulching to help cope with critical climatic conditions, such as drought seasons. Further studies are needed to evaluate the yield and economic advantages of both the effect of shallower soil tillage over a longer period in this specific context and the creation of ground cover with cover crops managed as dead mulch.
2023
Gagliardi, L.; Sportelli, M.; Fontanelli, M.; Sbrana, M.; Luglio, S. M.; Raffaelli, M.; Peruzzi, A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1210457
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