Simulating the effect of tillage practices on the yield production of wheat and barley under dryland condition
¹Ecology and Dry Land Agriculture Division, Desert Research Center, EG11753 El-Matarya, Cairo, Egypt
²Plant Production Department, Faculty of Desert and Environmental Agriculture, Matrouh University, EG51744 Matrouh, Egypt
In arid and semiarid regions, soil tillage practices have major effects on soil water dynamics. In this study, we compared the effects of Zero tillage (ZT) and Conventional tillage (CT) on the grain yield of rainfed barley and wheat at three locations i.e. Barrani, El-Neguilla and Matrouh in the north western coast of Egypt. We also tested the performance of the DSSAT (Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer). In the first season of 2017/2018, only barley plants in Barrani location were able to grow and produce yield due to insufficient rain. Results showed that ZT produced significantly higher grain yield (almost 200%) for barley as compared to the CT treatment. In the second season of 2018/2019, conventional tillage produced higher yields as compared to the zero tillage treatment over the three studied locations and for the two crops. The DSSAT model successfully simulated the grain yield, total biomass and harvest index with an excellent agreement between simulated and observed data with NSE values of 0.868 and 0.800 for grain yield and total biomass respectively and a satisfactory agreement with NSE of 0.431 in case of harvest index. Tillage had a noticeable impact on grain yield of barley and wheat and the DSSAT successfully simulated the effects of the tillage treatments.