In continuous cereal-based crop rotation, inappropriate residue management such as burning and removing may deteriorate soil properties and crop productivity. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different tillage systems (TSs), nitrogen fertilization, and maize (Zea mays L.) stubble management (SM) on subsequent wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) crop and soil properties. The experiment consisted of three TSs, i.e., shallowing with rotavator (0–10 cm), conventional (0–20 cm), and deep tillage (0–30 cm) as main plots, whereas the subplots were SM (removal, burning, or incorporation) with or without 120 kg N ha-1 as urea. The treatments were laid out in a split-plot fashion with whole-plot factor in a randomized complete block design. Shallow tillage (ST) increased wheat yield and soil moisture retention, soil mineral N, total N, and organic carbon. Similarly, stubble incorporation with N fertilization enhanced grain yield and soil properties as compared with the stubble removed or burning treatments. Synergetic effects were noted between ST and residue incorporation with N fertilization for grain yield and soil N response. We conclude that in a cereal-based cropping system, ST and maize stubble incorporation accompanied by N fertilization can improve soil properties and productivity of subsequent wheat crop in existing soil conditions.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2