Accepted 19th September, 2019.
Soil tillage affects the sustainable use of soil resources through its influence on soil properties. Proper use of tillage can improve soil related constraints, while improper tillage may cause a range of undesirable processes. Conservation tillage like no tillage had been reported to improve the properties of the soil. Thus, the study had been carried out at Assosa Agricultural research center to evaluate the effects of tillage and cropping system on soil physical properties and in situ moisture conservation. Eighteen experimental runoff plots of 8 m long and 3 m wide each were framed with corrugated iron sheets. The experimental design used was randomized complete block design (RCBD) with six treatment in factorial combinations vis-à-vis three cropping systems (sole maize, sole soya bean and intercropping of maize with soya bean), with tillage system (minimum tillage and conventional tillage), that were replicated three times. The bulk density under conventional tillage was declined by 0.3g/cm3, 0.3g/cm3 and 0.23g/cm3 and the in situ-water retained under conventional tillage was declined by 9.83% (18mm), 11.3% (21mm) and 7.76% (14.63mm) as compared to no tillage with mulch treatments for maize, soya bean and maize-soya bean intercropping respectively. Thesefinding illustratedthat the water retention capacity of no-tillage with mulch (conservation agriculture) than conventional tillage.
Keywords: Tillage, Soil, Cropping system, Bulk density, Porosity