Növénytermelés / Volume 61 / Issue 1 (March 2012) / pp. 7-36

Birkás M;–Kalmár T; Kisić I; JUG D; Smutný V; Szemők A

The effect of rainfall events in 2010 on the physical soil conditions

This study describes and evaluates the effect of hail and rain stress – two severe climatic phenomena – on soil conditions in 2010. This task was rather timely, due to the unpredictable character and the consequences of climatic damages. The examinations were carried out on chernozem soil in the small area of Mezőhegyes and Hatvan, since these areas were struck by these harmful climatic events. Results are shown in relation to the trends observed in soil conditions – improvement or deterioration – in the given period.

In the hail-storm area (Mezőhegyes), the permanence of structure and the typical looseness could be observed under perished vegetable mass. In cases when there was no vegetable mass, soil factors deteriorated, although they slowly, but steadily improved over time. The fact that soil renewed itself is related to continuous organic matter- and structure-preserving cultivation.

When repeating the examination performed in 2008 in the area of Hatvan, the frequency of 7 factors was observed on 600 points. In 2010, the damage on soil was several times higher than two years before, while the extent of natural water-logging was 26 times higher, the siltation of the surface was 4.7 time stronger, sedimentation was 3.3 times higher, compaction caused by disk and plough was 2.2–2.7 times higher and dust leaching was 12 times higher. Cases when there was no damage were reported on five occasions in 2010 and on 460 occasions in 2008.

Since 2002, organic matter preservation has been constant in the long-term experiment, decreasing depths of looseness were mainly observed in shallow tilled soil (disk 37%, shallow tine 18%) and ploughed soil (16%). Similarly to natural deposition, the loosened layer of tine-tilled soil decreased by 8%, while that of areas on which direct sowing was applied were reduced by 9%. The ratio of Clod-Crumb-Small crumb-Dust which is typically characteristic of the experiment was 22–46–28–4% averaged over the 9 years. The fluctuations of the fractions of clod and small crumbs, as well as the reduction of crumbs until mid-July (until the maize coverage which can be considered) can be explained by the effect of rain stress. The proportion of dust in the surface layer continuously decreased until the middle of the season, while it increased in the 30.5–32.5 cm and the 32.5–34.5 cm layers of the ploughed soil, as well as in the 12.5–15.5 cm layer of the disk tilled soil. As a result of dust leaching, the 30.0–32.5; 32.5–35.0 and 35.0–37.5 cm layers of the ploughed soil and the 9.5–12.5, 12.5–15.5 and 15.5–18.5 cm layers of the disk tilled soil became more compacted; therefore, the compaction zone extended. The damage caused by rain stress was also shown by the crusting of soil. The crust on the ploughed, uncovered soil was 4.7–13.3 mm thicker than in the case of covered tine-tilled soil, while it was 1.3–20.3 mm thinner than in the case of neglected soil.

The obtained results show the necessity of continuous preserving cultivation which resulted in smaller damage that is easier to amend in severe climatic situations.

Keywords: rain-stress, soil, depth of loosened layer, structure, compaction, dust, crusting

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