Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Kevin Bligh


Seeder cultivators, No-tillage, Crop establishment, Crop yield, Water erosion, Erosion control

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Sowing crops without loosening the topsoil by tillage reduces water erosion. It can increase infiltration of rainfall into loamy soils, thereby reducing runoff and increasing potential crop yields. Crop yields were maintained after I1 seasons of seeding an Avon Valley loam near Beverley with minimum and no-tillage seeding operations. Infiltration increased significantly from 80 per cent of the 1983 growing-season rainfall under the traditional three tillage operations, to 87per cent under a single tillage operation using a combine seed drill. Infiltration increased further to 96 per cent under a no-tillage system using a triple^lisc drill. At Gnowangerup, 80 per cent of growing-season rainfall infiltrated into a sand over clay soil under no-tillage techniques, whereas less than 67 per cent infiltrated under both traditional and a single tillage operation in the third season of continuous cropping.