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Soil mapping to assess workability in central Italy as climate change adaptation technique

Paper Topic: 
Ecosystems and Natural Resources Management

Pages :
229 - 239

Corresponing Author: 
Bergonzoli S.
Servadio P., Bergonzoli S. and Toderi M.
Paper ID: 
Paper Status: 
Date Paper Accepted: 
Paper online: 

In this paper soil conventional tillage (CT) in two adiacent on-farm sites, hilly and plain fields, was carried out in comparison with direct-seeding + fertilizing at very low water content. The quality and quantity of work were evaluated through machine performance, fossil-fuel energy requirements and carbon dioxide emissions from agricultural machinery. The fields were previously sampled and mapped to investigate spatial variability of soil properties, to find soil quality indicators and to asses soil workability. The results revealed good traction performance during CT operations (slip values were lower than 15%). During plowing, time efficiency of the wheeled tractor was 40% lower with respect to the tracked tractor. Global energy employed was of the same magnitude for the tracked and wheeled tractor (220 kWh ha-1) while was significantly lower (52 kWh ha-1) for direct-seeding+fertilizing. The degree of crushing of the soil caused by CT required further energy employed (98 kWh ha-1) to seedbed preparation. Fossil-fuel energy requirements from agricultural machinery were significantly lower during direct-seeding+fertilizing (0.52 GJ ha-1) with respect to the conventional soil tillage (2.30 GJ ha-1). Wheat yield of direct seeded field and the total cost of the crop cycle (€/ha) were 9% and 16% lower respectively than the values recorded on fields under conventional tillage.


soil mapping, GPS, GIS, soil tillage, direct-seeding, energy requirement, CO2 emission.