African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Different soil tillage systems influence accumulation of soil organic matter in organic agriculture

Ademir Sergio Ferreira de Araújo
  • Ademir Sergio Ferreira de Araújo
  • Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil.
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Luiz Fernando Carvalho Leite
  • Luiz Fernando Carvalho Leite
  • Embrapa Mid-North, Av. Duque de Caxias, Teresina, PI, Brazil.
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Ana Roberta Lima Miranda
  • Ana Roberta Lima Miranda
  • Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil.
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Luis Alfredo Pinheiro Leal Nunes
  • Luis Alfredo Pinheiro Leal Nunes
  • Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil.
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Ricardo Silva de Sousa
  • Ricardo Silva de Sousa
  • Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil.
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Fabio Fernando de Araújo
  • Fabio Fernando de Araújo
  • Universidade do Oeste Paulista, Campus II, Presidente Prudente, SP, Brazil.
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Wanderley José de Melo
  • Wanderley José de Melo
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista, Campus de Jaboticabal, Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 24 August 2016
  •  Accepted: 08 November 2016
  •  Published: 22 December 2016

Abstract

As a sustainable method of agriculture, organic agriculture aims to increase the soil organic matter through the use of crop rotation, legume cover crop, animal green manure, and organic compost. These practices add organic residues with high organic Carbon (C) which results in a higher soil organic matter content over time primarily due to the no-tillage practices. However, different soil tillage systems, such as conventional tillage and reduced tillage are also used in organic agriculture, and therefore the accumulation of organic matter does not follow similar trends. The studies under conventional tillage have shown that soil tillage influences negatively the organic matter accumulation in organic agriculture plots, while the results from different studies on organic agriculture showed the potential benefits of reduced or zero tillage for organic matter accumulation.

Key words: Sustainability, soil quality, management systems.