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Abstract

Swede is known as a healthy vegetable with a high content of vitamin C. However, very few studies have worked with the aim to evaluate how varieties, soil type and fertilizer interact and affect quality in swede. In the present study two varieties of swedes (‘Vige’ and ‘Vigod’) were grown on peat, loam and sand, with three levels of K (0, 120, 240 kg ha-1) and N fertilizer (0, 80, 160 kg ha-1). Low to moderate levels of N gave highest saleable yield, highest content of vitamin C and lowest content of nitrate. Peat soil gave highest saleable yield, lowest soluble solids and vitamin C and highest nitrate content. Soluble solids and vitamin C were negatively correlated with total root yield. Sandy soil gave lowest saleable yield, sweetest taste and lowest nitrate content. Contents of total, aliphatic, indole and individual glucosinolates, on dry matter basis, were highest on peat. N fertilization increased the content of most glucosinolates, whereas K affected glucobrassicin at the highest N level. Progoitrin was lowest in roots grown on sand, and was affected by N level and variety on sand and loam soils. Consumers preferred ‘Vigod’, which had the highest intensity of sweetness, although ‘Vige’ had more vitamin C and less nitrate.

Abstract

A future wetter climate in Northern Europe may increase soil compaction from traffic of heavy machinery. This study investigated the impact of tractor traffic on grassland yield, soil physical properties and penetration resistance in three experimental field trials in Norway; on medium sand at Tjøtta, Nordland, on silty medium sand at Fureneset, Sogn og Fjordane and on silt at Løken, Oppland. The experiments were conducted in a split-plot design with three levels of two wheel-by-wheel passes with tractor traffic after each cut: no traffic, light tractor or heavy tractor on large plots, and three different seed mixtures on small plots. The yield reduction by tractor traffic was 26% at Løken, 4% at Fureneset and 1% at Tjøtta. There was a positive correlation between soil moisture content and yield reduction by traffic. Tractor traffic reduced pore volume and air capacity and increased bulk density, compaction degree and penetration resistance with the largest effect at Løken and the smallest at Tjøtta. There were no statistically significant differences in yield or soil physical properties between light and heavy tractor. The study shows that soil texture and soil moisture content are major factors explaining traffic effects on soil physical properties and grassland yield.

Abstract

Four field trials (spring wheat and oats) were conducted (one on clay soil, one on loam soil and two on silt soil) for three years in important cereal growing districts, to investigate the influence of tillage regimes (ploughing versus reduced tillage in either autumn or spring) and straw management (removed and retained) on plant residue amounts, weed populations, soil structural parameters and cereal yields. The effect of tillage on soil structure varied, mainly due to the short trial period. In general, the amount of small soil aggregates increased with tillage intensity. Reduced soil tillage, and in some cases spring ploughing, gave significantly higher aggregate stability than autumn ploughing, thus providing protection against erosion. However, decreasing tillage intensity increased the amounts of weeds, particularly of Poa annua on silt soil. Straw treatment only slightly affected yields, while effects of tillage varied between both year and location. Reduced tillage, compared to ploughing, gave only small yield differences on loam soil, while it was superior on clay soil and inferior on silt soil. Our results suggest that shallow spring ploughing is a good alternative to autumn ploughing, since it gave comparable yields, better protection against erosion and was nearly as effective against weeds.

Abstract

Mineral NPK fertilizer and manure have been compared since 1922 in a ley–arable rotation. During 1982–2003, cattle manure at 20–60 Mg ha−1 year−1 yielded 10–20 % less than mineral fertilizer at 100 kg N:25 kg P:120 kg K ha−1 year−1. The higher manure rates gave large nutrient surpluses. Both manure and mineral fertilizer had increased soil organic carbon (SOC), by 11.3 and 3.4 Mg ha−1 in 1996. In order to study possible residual effects, no manure was applied in 2004–2007 and mineral fertilizer was withheld from some NPK plots. Effects on yield and nutrient uptake were evaluated in relation to plots with no nutrient supply since 1922 and plots still receiving 100 kg N, 25 kg P and 120 kg K ha−1 annually. No residual response of mineral fertilizer was found, but previous manure use gave large effects. The latter yields remained around 85 % of those obtained with mineral fertilizer. Previous use of both mineral fertilizer and manure still increased available soil nutrients and pH in 2007. Differences between treatments in SOC had by then declined slightly, to 9.7 and 2.8 Mg ha−1 for manure and mineral fertilizer respectively, relative to the unfertilized control. Manure and fertilizer applications were resumed in 2008, except at the highest previous manure rate, where mean residual responses up to 2014, relative to the unfertilized control, amounted to 55 % higher yield and increases in nutrient uptake of 47 kg N, 8 kg P and 53 kg K ha−1.

Abstract

Implications Mulching of GM herbage can increase cereal yields compared to its removal. However, the same GM herbage removed for biogas production will provide biogas residue that can be used as spring fertilizer to cereals. This will improve N-recovery and reduce the risk for N pollution. Cooperation with existing biogas plants will be more efficient, as building small biogas plants are costly and challenging.

Abstract

Abstract: This paper reviews several studies of earthworms in agricultural soils in Norway. Crops and management significantly influence the earthworm fauna. Beneficial impacts of earthworms on plant growth are likely, but challenging to prove. Earthworm casts contain high amounts of extractable plant nutrients, which probably contribute to plant nutrient uptake. Geophagous (soil-eating) species such as Aporrectodea caliginosa and A.rosea dominate the earthworm fauna in our arable soils1. Lumbricus terrestris is also present and was found also in all-arable crop rotations with annual ploughing2. In southern Norway, L. rubellus and A. longa are also common. Earthworm populations, recorded in autumn, vary between 30 and 350 individuals m-2, with the lowest values found in all-arable systems2. The inclusion of leys in the crop rotation increases the abundance of channels, earthworm numbers and their biomass2. Since most earthworms prefer living in the upper soil layer, shallow ploughing (15 cm depth) might be expected to be detrimental. However we found that the number and biomass of earthworms was not lower with shallow than with deep ploughing (25 cm)1. In a study, green manure management affected the biomass, species and number of earthworms3. More worms were found in plots where the green manure was left on the field, compared with where it was removed. L. rubellus responded positively and rapidly to mulching, and so did A.caliginosa in clay soil. The use of biogas slurry from green manure in one season gave no effect on number and biomass of earthworms3. Long-term use of solid animal manure positively influenced some earthworm parameters, even three years after the last application1, compared to mineral fertilizer. Utilizing animal manure to produce biogas may reduce fossil fuel usage and emissions of greenhouse gases. However, there is limited information on how the recycling of digested manure as a fertilizer affects soil fertility in the long run. Reduced recycling of carbon to the soil, may harm soil fauna, including earthworms. In a newly started project on the organic research farm at Tingvoll, Norway, anaerobically digested manure is compared with undigested slurry in perennial ley and arable crops. Effects on crop yields, soil fauna, microbial communities, soil structure, organic matter and nutrient concentrations are being measured. Initial studies showed that several earthworm species were present (A.caliginosa, A.rosea, L.terrestris, L.rubellus, Octolasion cyaneum). Earthworm casts (excrements) from the detritivorous species L. terrestris (that feeds on plant residues) have been shown to be richer in nutrients than bulk soil, but little was known previously about the casts of geophagous species (that ingest mostly soil). Casts from two soil depths (13 and 25 cm) were collected by means of litter bags, to study whether such casts also contained more plant available nutrients than the bulk soil. A.caliginosa and A.rosea were the dominant species in these fields. The casts had considerably higher concentrations of plant nutrients than the bulk soil. The content of total-N was 28 % higher in casts, total-C was 37% higher, the contents of available P and K were 40-60%, whilst those of Ca and Mg were 10-20 % higher. On average for the two sites, these differences corresponded to the following amounts (kg ha-1 y-1): 5.6 for P, 8.9 for K, 5.3 for Mg, 144 for N and 2542 for C. With earthworm densities such as those found in farming systems incl. ley and animal manure (ca. 230 individuals m-2), about 220 tonnes of topsoil per hectare passes through the earthworm digestive tract each year. Our study indicated that earthworm casts are valuable sources of plant nutrients even in soils where the fauna is dominated by geophagous species.

Abstract

The current IPCC guidelines define an estimate for the fraction of mineral fertilizer and animal waste (manure) lost to leaching and runoff (FracLEACH). The FracLEACH default is 30 %. In Norway, 18 % has been used based on calculations made in 1998 (Vagstad et al., 1998). The main purpose of this study was to give an updated estimate of nitrogen (N) leaching in relation to the amounts of N applied in agriculture (FracLEACH). The term losses in this report include both surface and subsurface runoff. The estimates of FracLEACH presented in this report were based on data from the Agricultural Environmental monitoring program (JOVA). The JOVA-program includes catchment and field study sites representing typical situations in Norwegian agriculture with regard to production system, management, intensity, soil, landscape, region and climate. Data from plot- scale study sites confirmed the level of N leaching from the agricultural areas within the JOVA catchments. The overall FracLEACH estimated in this study was 22 % of the N applied. This average covers a variation between sites from 16 % on grassland in Valdres to 44 % in intensive vegetable, potato and cereal production areas in the southernmost part of Norway. Runoff is the most significant parameter for the difference in FracLEACH between catchments. In addition, production system and to some degree soil type are important for FracLEACH. It is thus suggested to use different FracLEACH-values for the different production systems and adjust FracLEACH according to average runoff for the region.

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Abstract

The relative effects of using light (2-3 Mg) versus heavier (5-7 Mg) tractors, shallow (15 cm) versus deeper (25 cm) ploughing and on-land versus in-furrow wheel placement during ploughing were investigated from 2003 to 2006 in organic rotations (wheat or barley, green manure, oats with peas) and conventionally fertilized barley. Trials were located on loam soil in south-eastern Norway and silty clay loam in central Norway. Ploughing was performed in spring, when the topsoil moisture content was at or below field capacity, using single furrow ploughs that allowed alternative wheel placement and resulted in complete coverage of the surface by wheels each year (ca. 3 times the normal coverage during ploughing). Low tyre inflation pressures (:<= 80 kPa) were used throughout. The use of a heavy tractor increased topsoil bulk density slightly in the loam soil, and, in combination with in-furrow wheeling, it reduced air-filled pore space and air permeability at 18-22 cm. On the silty clay loam, the use of a heavy tractor did not increase bulk density, but it reduced air-filled pore space throughout the topsoil. In-furrow wheeling reduced air-filled pore space in this soil also, compared to on-land wheeling. Penetration resistance was in this soil always greater at 15-25 cm depth after shallow than after deep ploughing, especially with in-furrow rather than on-land wheeling. Shallow ploughing led on both soils to marked increases in perennial weed biomass compared to deep ploughing. Earthworms were hardly affected by the treatments, but in the loam in 2006 a higher number of individuals were found where the light rather than the heavy tractor had been used. Few significant treatment effects were found on grain yield and quality. Deep ploughing with a light tractor gave the highest wheat yield and protein content in 2 years on the loam soil, and on the silty clay loam the yield of conventionally fertilized barley was higher after deep than after shallow ploughing. In summary, limited evidence was found to support the use of on-land rather than in-furrow wheeling when ploughing is performed at favourable soil moisture and with tractor weights < 5 Mg. There is, however, reason to be wary of using heavy tractors (> 5 Mg), even under such conditions. With regard to ploughing depth in organic rotations dominated by cereals, the need to combat perennial weeds by deep ploughing weighs probably more heavily than any possible beneficial effect of shallow ploughing on stimulating nutrient turnover. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Yields are reported from four long-term (16 30 years) tillage trials, comparing results since 1998, under relatively wet conditions, with earlier experience. In trial 1, on clay loam, mean grain yield with spring harrowing only, has since 1998 been 87% of that obtained with autumn ploughing, whereas it was 94% for the whole period since 1991. The inclusion of autumn harrowing increased these figures to 94 and 98%, respectively. Over the last six years, spring ploughing gave 5% lower yield than did autumn ploughing. Relative yields of unploughed versus ploughed treatments were negatively correlated with summer rainfall. Grain protein was lowest with spring harrowing only. In trial 2, on clay loam, direct drilling has since 1998, as in previous years, given around 10% lower yield than has autumn ploughing. Autumn harrowing gave 4% lower yield in winter wheat and 6% higher yield in spring oats than did autumn ploughing, whilst yields of spring turnip rape were not significantly affected by tillage. In trial 3, also on clay loam, six alternative straw treatments were compared under four unploughed tillage regimes. Relative to straw removal, retaining large residue amounts depressed yields hardly at all with autumn and spring harrowing, but by 7% with spring harrowing only and by 13% with direct drilling. Overall, direct drilling gave 18% lower yields in this trial than did autumn and spring harrowing, whilst the yield reduction with spring harrowing only was 7%. In trial 4, on silt loam, both spring harrowing only and direct drilling have since 1998 given 6% lower yield than has autumn ploughing, whereas autumn and spring harrowing has given 6% higher yield. Under drier conditions during 1991 1997, autumn ploughing gave up to 11% lower yield than did unploughed treatments. Straw retention was beneficial in the absence of ploughing during that period, but has had little effect in more recent years.