Economic comparison of tillage and planting operations in three tillage systems
Keywords:Costs of production, Field performance, No-till, Maximum tillage, Multi-task machine, Reduce tillage, Soil compaction.
To study the economy of tillage operations and present suitable systems for land preparation and planting, costs of execution of three different tillage operations in irrigated wheat crop were compared for three successive years. The three systems include: conventional or maximum tillage (Max-till), reduced tillage (Red-till) using multitask machine, and using direct planting machinery to represent the no-tillage case (No-till). Costs were composed of rental cost of tractor, the used implements, multitask machine and direct planting machine. For each case, data were compared and analyzed in randomized block design. The variance of wheat yield in the three tillage systems was significant at the 1% level. Total costs per hectare were 109 and 78 and 46 Dollars for Max-till, Red-till and the No-till case, respectively. Since, the test area under cultivation was part of a 200 hectare farm, crop protection and harvesting operations were carried out alike in the whole farm. Accordingly, operations costs were estimated as 445 Dollars ha-1 tare. Average yields of 7.85, 7.68, 5.2 t ha-1 were obtained, respectively, for Max-till, Red-till and No-till systems. Since, the price per kg of wheat was equal to 0.36 Dollars ha-1, the profits of the harvest was equal to 2,271 Dollars ha-1 for the Max-till, 2,242 Dollars ha-1 for Red-till and 1,384 Dollars ha-1 for the No-till system. In tillage and planting operations, usage of the reduce tillage system is offered as an alternative to the conventional tillage and no-till systems. The Red-till system reduces fuel consumption, operation time, soil compaction due to decrease in the number of tractor trips, which leads to reduced production costs. In addition, less investment in purchasing implements and preparation of the soil, which breaks the soil cohesion, are achieved with the reduced tillage system.
Keywords: costs of production, field performance, Max-till, Multitask machine, no-till, red-till, soil compaction