Effects of reduced tillage in organic farming on yield, weeds and soil carbon: meta-analysis results from the TILMAN-ORG project

Cooper, J.M., Baranski, M., Nobel de Lange, M., Barberi, P., Fliessbach, A., Peigne, J., Berner, A., Brock, C., Casagrande, M., Crowley, O., Davide, C., De Vliegher, A., Döring, Thomas F., Entz, M., Grosse, M., Haase, T., Halde, C., Hammerl, V., Huiting, H., Leithold, G., Messmer, M., Schloter, M., Sukkel, W., van der Heijden, M., Willekens, K., Wittwer, R. and Mäder, P.

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    Within the CORE ORGANIC II project, TILMAN-ORG, we have compiled data from ongoing trials and the published literature to conduct a meta-analysis on the effects of reduced tillage on yields, weed pressure and soil C in organic farming. The results indicate that replacing deep inversion tillage with some form of reduced tillage intensity results in yield declines of 5-10%; however, relative to shallow inversion tillage, there is no yield penalty from further reducing tillage intensity. Weed pressure does not appear to be the sole cause of yield declines. Reducing tillage intensity also offers an opportunity to further increase the soil C sequestration ecosystem service provisioning of organic farming. Humid oceanic climates are least suited to implementation of reduced tillage systems in organic farming, while the production in the Mediterranean appears to benefit from reduced tillage. The study has highlighted the need for flexible, region- and systemspecific design of reduced tillage systems in organic farming.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th ISOFAR Scientific Conference. ‘Building Organic Bridges’ : 4, Thuenen Report
    EditorsGerold Rahmann, Uygun Aksoy
    Place of PublicationBraunschweig, Germany
    PublisherJohann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut
    Publication date2014
    ISBN (Print)978-3-86576-128-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event18th Organic World Congress - Istanbul, Turkey
    Duration: 13-Oct-201415-Oct-2014

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