Performance of a biomimetic integral subsoiler for sustainable tillage of agricultural soils

Abstract

The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of a biomimetic integral subsoiler (SIB) for the sustainable tillage of soil compared to a multiplough (M), a subsoiler equipment (S) and the conventional tillage which is relied on disc plough (AD) and disk harrow (Ra). The experiment was established on a sandy loam soil in strips of 15 m width and 110 m long, without replications. It was found that SIB and M have a more working width, demand bigger pull force and less fuel consumption per hectare (ha) than AD and S; therefore, SIB and M are statistically different than AD and S. The working speed of SIB has direct repercussions on its operating performance (ha h-1); it was 33.8% higher than the performance of AD. About the quality and operation of the equipment, these did not produce temporary changes on the soil bulk density (Da), mean diameter of the aggregates (DG50), resistance to penetration (Rp) and gravimetric humidity (Ɵg); hence, these did not show statistical differences (p ≤ 0.05) although, in average, Da in M was bigger than in AD, S, and SIB for all the sampled depths. Therefore, it is concluded that SIB represents a sustainable choice to primary tillage of soils and can be used instead of conventional tillage.

https://doi.org/10.15174/au.2019.1968
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