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Conservation tillage for a sustainable sugar beet production in Germany – yield and economic results

  • Autor/in: Miller, H., H.-J. Koch, K. Bürcky
  • Jahr: 2003
  • Zeitschrift: Proc. 1. joint IIRB-ASSBT-Congress
  • Verlag: San Antonio
  • Seite/n: 55-59
Gefunden in Abteilung Pflanzenbau


In Germany sugar beets are mainly grown on loamy soils that are well suited for ploughless tillage and drilling into mulch residues. Thereby the growing is risky due to water erosion. Since 1989 the agricultural department of Südzucker AG carries out long term trials with 4 tillage systems at 9 sites in Southern Germany. The following tillage systems are tested: Conventional (P – Ploughing): After harvest of cereal crops, usually single or double stubble tilling is carried out. Depending on the soil type an autumn, winter or spring furrow follows. Conservation (L – intensive loosening, M – flat loosening). On the contrary, in the case of reduced tillage using implements not turning the soil around, a mulch layer from the harvest residues of the previous and/or catch crop covers the soil surface. Direct drilling ( D ): The cultivation of cereals and sugar beets without any form of soil preparation in the rotation is called direct drilling (Zero-Till, No-till). In summary, the sowing of sugar beets into mulch makes it possible to obtain yields that are both, high and stable, if tillage is adopted to the local conditions. The introduction of these systems resulted in a considerable reduction of erosion damages in row cultures such as sugar beet or maize. Lower yields are compensated by positive effects such as lower surface- and ground water pollution.
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