1. like Africa and Asia, which are the

1.            Introduction Tillage has been an essential partof innovative development in the advancement of agribusiness, specifically inproduction. The soil is tilled to achieve a fine tilth for the sowing of seed,water, and soil preservation, and weed control. Tillage exerts differentphysical, chemical and biological impacts on the soil both advantageous anddebasing, contingent upon the suitability of the systems utilized. The physicalimpacts, for example, aggregate stability, penetration rate, soil and waterpreservation, specifically, have a coordinate effect on soil profitability andmanageability. (FAO. 1993)However, as the world populationgrows at an alarming rate, food production has undergone a decline.

This is inpart due to declining levels of soil productivity. Agriculture has to findinnovative ways of producing enough food to meet the demand, especially in vulnerableregions like Africa and Asia, which are the most food insecure. Swilling and Annecke state thatthere is mounting evidence that the ecosystems that make agriculture possibleare steadily deteriorating as the levels of extraction and exploitationintensifies (Swilling & Annecke. 2012). Swilling and Annecke directly linkdeclining yield growth to soil degradation. To achieve food security we have tofind sustainable ways of food production to meet the growing population demand. 2.

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            Tillage-based crop production system? Tillage is known as the mechanicalexploitation of the soil with the intention of growing crops. This disturbanceof the soil affects the soil characteristics such as soil water conservation,soil temperature, transpiration, and evapotranspiration processes. This meansthat tillage exerts a footprint on the soil willfully to yield crops;therefore, damages the environment.Conventional tillage practice exertsthe most impact on the soil. It is responsible for the loss of soil organic carboncontent, nitrate leaching, greenhouse emissions.

Busari, Kukal, Bhatt &Duluzi claims that soil disturbance by conventional tillage makes the soilserve as a source rather than a sink of atmospheric pollutants and; thus, isunsustainable and environmentally friendly.Busari et al. list conservationtillage practices as ranging from No-Till (NT), Reduced Tillage (RT), MulchTillage (MT), and Ridge Tillage to Contour Tillage. NT involves landcultivation with little or no soil disturbance, the only disturbance beingduring planting while minimum tillage means a reduced level of manipulationinvolving plowing using primary tillage implements (Busari et al.

). In mulch tillage, they state thatthe soil is tilled in a manner that plant residues are left to cover the soilsurface to the highest degree. They explain ridge tilling as the planting ofcrops in rows along both sides or on top of the ridges prepared at thecommencement of the cropping season while contour tillage is when tillage is atright angles to the direction of the slope. 3.            Soil properties The texture has two importantphysical properties when it comes to indicating soil quality; those areaggregate stability and size distribution. The particle size distribution is anessential physical property that defines the soil texture and influences thesoil properties the most. These two physical properties mentioned abovereflects the resistance of soil erosion, especially in a no-tillage system,which is why they are the most important factors when it comes to soil quality.

The soil structure defines whichdifferent types of particles that are stored in the soil and it exerts controlover the physical, biological and chemical processes. It also explains how andwhere the particles are located, which is important for how suitable the soilis for growing crops. If the soil has a poor structure, itcan affect the nutrient availability and the nutrient uptake negatively andincrease the input energy requirement for tillage, increase the nutrient lossand the denitrification, which is negative from an environmental point of view.

Organic matter, tillage system, and biological activity matters for theaggregate structure in the soil.Soil’s conductivity, which is theability of the soil particles to attract nutrients, is influenced by thepresence of organic matter in the soil. Nutrients are spared from leaching insoils with high organic matter content. With less organic matter content andleaching of nutrients, over time the soil can become more acidic. Various studies has proven thattillage has an impact on soils physical and chemical properties.

To ensure soilwater availability, nutrient availability, and proper root development, it mustbe ensured there is a very minimal disturbance to the soil. 4.            Environmental effects of tillage Intensive tillage leads to soilerosion. Soil erosion is described as the detachment and movement of soilparticles from point of origination through the action of water and wind.

Winderosion is the more visible, though water erosion is the most devastating. Theloss of natural nutrients and possible fertilizers directly affect cropemergence and growth. Seeds can be disturbed or removed and pesticides can bewashed off. This means fewer nutrients for plants leading to reduced yields.Soil water erosion has great environmental and economic implications as erodedsoils can inhibit the growth of seeds, bury seedlings, contribute to roaddamage, and even contaminate water sources.The topsoil typically has moreorganic matter and more plant nutrients than the soil deeper in the soilprofile.

Associated with the organic matter are billions of soilmicroorganisms. Microorganisms are the engine that keeps soil alive andproductive. Numerous scientific studies have shown that soil with fewermicroorganisms or a lower diversity of microorganisms is less productive thansoils with a good balance. Erosion can be made more severe due to man’sinfluences.

A soil with a higher proportion of clay and humus usually increasesthe stability of structure and aggregates. Aggregate stability is characterizedby the sensitivity to external influence. The essence of aggregate stability isthe organic matter because large parts of plants and roots act like a barrierand prevent aggregates to break into smaller units with help from decomposingof microorganisms that provide an adhesive effect. With tillage systems,organic matter is greatly reduced.Permeability is the soil´s capacityto drain off the water. The structure of a soil is influenced in both the longand short term of tillage and cultivation measures, which in turn affects thesoil physical properties. Tillage affects soil quality, structure, stability,and texture, which in turn affect the holding capacity of the soil referred towater infiltration rate.

This is due to the decrease in soil organic matter andthe subsequent aggregate breakdown.Tillage causes air to enter the soilparticles. When the soil is more aerated, nitrous oxide escapes into theatmosphere offsetting the cooling effect of carbon dioxide drawdown. N2O is themost important agent for stratospheric ozone destruction. The soil is thelargest source of N2O emissions and it is exasperated by tillage and theever-increasing use of synthetic nitrogen (N). (Growingnations.co.

za, 2018) describes soil isone of the most important natural resources farmers have. In the absence ofsoil, farmers cannot farm. As with other important resources, it is vital to beprotected or improved for the benefit and sustainability of future generations.Once soil leaves a farmers field it is lost forever. As soil erodes fromfarmer’s fields, the most valuable part of the soil (the topsoil) is gone. 5.            Economic effects of conventional tillage Tillage operations are generallyconducted to prepare a seedbed, incorporate fertilizers, and cultivate for weedcontrol.

The number of trips required to perform these operations depends onsoil type and condition, the crop, weather conditions, and the type of tillagesystem utilized. Excessive tillage operations increase fuel consumption,operating costs, machinery wear, and time and labor requirements.Yield reduction reported forconventional reduced tillage systems due to poor soil quality. This has adomino effect on farm income, exports, and food security concerns.  6.            Conclusion Arable land supplies food and it istherefore important to develop the production and land-use plan in asustainable way. To grow crops for food should be both economical andenvironmentally sustainable and the soil structure and quality should be takeninto consideration when cultivating the land.

We need to find new approaches tomaintain good soil structure, and minimized tillage systems have manyadvantages, including reduced costs for the growing of crops, while leavingplant material in the fields can reduce erosion and increase the biologicalactivity and humus content of the soil.A non-cultivated soil generally hasa better structure due to the higher content of organic matter and lesscompaction than a cultivated soil has. Soil structure is influenced by soil andcrop management inputs and has an impact on soil quality. One of the factorsthat influence the quality is tillage. This input is an important factor andrelevant to the point of sustainabilityVegetation and recycling of organicmatter contribute to a better structure and physical environment. Soilcultivation measures do the opposite.

If the structure should be improved, thestructure-building measures need to be greater than the structure depletingmeasures such a conventional tillage systems. Adding organic matter can preservesoil structure and increase the crop safety. Measures to improve the structureand provide better conditions for the crops is to return crop residues to thesoil, grow cover crops and only apply shallow tillage or no-till, which couldincrease the humus content in the top layer. Increased humus content will givea lower bulk density, increased aggregate stability and increased porosity,which in turn give soil the increased water holding and infiltration capacity.     7.            Reference List Thierfelder, C.

, Rusinamhodzi, L., Ngwira, A.R., Mupangwa, W., Nyagumbo, I., Kassie, G. T.

and Cairns, J. E. (2015)”Conservation agriculture in Southern Africa: Advances in knowledge,” Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. Cambridge University Press,30(4), pp. 328–348. R. Moussadek, R.

Mrabet, R. Dahan, A. Zouahri, M.El Mourid, and E. Van Ranst, “Tillage System Affects Soil Organic CarbonStorage and Quality in Central Morocco,” Applied and Environmental Soil Science, 2014, pp1-8.

Meena, JR, Behera, U, Chakraborty,D, Sharma, AR. (2015). Tillage and residue management effects on soilproperties, crop performance, and energy relations in greengram (Vigna radiataL.) under maize-based cropping systems. International Soil and Water ConservationResearch, 3(4), pp.261-272.

Growingnations.co.za. (2018). Erosion · Growing Nations. online Available at:http://www.growingnations.co.

za/conservation-agriculture/erosion/ Accessed 28Jan. 2018.Randall, G. W., and T. K.

Iragavarapu. 1995. Impact of Long-TermTillage Systems for Continuous Corn on Nitrate Leaching to Tile Drainage. J.Environ. Qual. 24:360-366.



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