Study Site Trials

 The SICS selected for trialling in this Study Site are described below:

Country General Treatment Category Study Site Trials
Czech Republic Tillage, fertilization

1. Tillage experiments and different N application - No till (all residues on surface); Reduced till (chisel ploughing up to 10cm-min 30% residues on soil surface); Conventional till (mouldboard ploughing up to 22 cm

Study Site poster 2018Study Site poster 2019


 SICS 1 :- Tillage experiment and different N application


No till

Conventional tillage - mouldbord ploughing up to 22 cm turning crop residues into the soil

Reduced till

Reduced tillage - chisel ploughing up to 10 cm min. 30% of crop residues on surface


Zero tillage - without any treatment all residues on surface


CZ experiment factsheet front cover

Read this fact sheet in Czech here



Key findings

Minimum and zero tillage resulted in:​

  • Increased SOC, thus resulting in lower CO2 emissions (+)​
  • Reduced soil warming and inefficient evaporation due to post-harvest residues on the soil surface (min. 30% at MT, all at ZT) (+)​
  • Reduction of water and wind erosion (+)​
  • Earlier and more balanced emergence of plants in soil with high moisture  esp. at MT (+)​
  • The later onset of mineralization processes and spring vegetation of crops due to slower warm-up of soil covered by post-harvest residues at ZT (-)​
  • Lower mineralization at ZT = less accessible nutrients for plants (-)​
  • Greater year-on-year stability of crop yields esp. at MT (+)​
  • Accumulation of nutrients with low mobility in soil in the surface layer (-)​
  • Risk of acidification of the surface layer in consequence of mineralization and nitrification processes in the soil accelerated after fertilizer applications (-)​
  • Fewer operations in the crop rotation at ZT = fuel saving, labour savings (+)​
  • Lower CO2 emissions and lower fuel consumption, esp. at ZT = lower carbon footprint (+)


The study site is situated in the Prague – Ruzyně area.   It has an annual precipitation 472 mm; annual average temp. 7.9°C.  The soil in the area is brown earth modal, clay-loam, loess on, partially on the Cretaceous clay slate with a higher content of coarse dust and a lower content of clay particles; Orthic Luvisol; clay-loamy texture, pH (KCl) 7.0, pH (H2O) 7.8; SOC 1.4%;

The tillage trials started in 1995 with three tillage practices: conventional tillage (CT = ploughing down to 22 cm), reduced tillage (RT = chisel ploughing of the surface soil layer to a depth of 10 cm), and no-tillage practices (NT = with crop residues left on the soil surface). All crop residues and side products are left on the field. Mineral fertilizers containing phosphorus (50 kg P2O5/ha, in Ammophos) and potassium (80 kg K2O/ha in Korn-Kali) were applied on the soil surface every year after harvest. Nitrogen fertilizers are applied during spring vegetation. Nitrogen dose is given with a view to previous crop, Nmin. content in the soil, expected production yield and required quality. Conventional pesticides are applied as needed in a given year.

Fertilizer Long-term Trial: Deep ploughing (28 cm) is applied before the seeding of each crop in the autumn. Pesticides are used only if necessary, and growth regulators have never been used. In the experiment nitrogen mineral fertilizers are applied in four different levels (40-80 kg N/ha), phosphorus and potassium ones at two levels (26 and 35 kg P ha−1; 90 and 124 kg K ha−1). Two organic fertilizers were also used, straw and pig slurry mixed with straw (pig slurry + straw). Pig slurry was applied in the autumn before planting the root crops. The straw of cereals and the residues of other crops are removed from the plots.

Trial on Organic Farming: no fertilisers, no pesticides, soil-improving crops are used.


Long term experiments