Browsing by Author "Magenuka, Lulama"
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- ItemEvaluation of tine and disc openers for wheat production in soils of different qualities and with various crop residue levels.(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2018-12) Magenuka, Lulama; Swanepoel, Pieter Andreas; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Agronomy.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Swartland wheat producing area in the Western Cape is characterised by a Mediterranean-type climate and receives about 80% of the rainfall in winter season, which is particularly favourable for wheat (Triticum aestivum) production. Currently, most farmers are implementing conservation agriculture (CA) systems seeking to minimise soil disturbance, increase crop diversity and to retain crop residues on the soil surface. No-till seed-drills are used to establish wheat. Although most farmers rely on tine openers seed-drills to establish wheat, disc openers are becoming more popular due to the belief that discs will disturb less soil when compared to tine openers. The aim of the study was to compare tine and disc openers and the effects of soil quality and crop residue on wheat production, by evaluating establishment, biomass production, leaf area index (LAI), wheat grain yield, thousand kernels mass (TKM), ear-bearing tillers (EBT), Hectolitre mass (HLM) and soil disturbance. The first objective was to evaluate the degree of soil disturbance caused by tine or disc openers in the soils of different qualities. The second objective was to evaluate the establishment of wheat planted with a tine or disc opener in different quality soils with different residue levels. Trials were conducted in 2016 and 2017 at Langgewens Research Farm in the Swartland. In both years, wheat was established in dry soils. The seasonal rainfall for 2017 was lower than for 2016. Contrary to what was expected, soil disturbance did not differ (P>0.05) between tine or disc openers, regardless of soil quality. The tine and disc openers performed similarly in the 2016 and 2017 seasons with regard to plant population, LAI, EBT, grain yield, and TKM regardless of soil quality with residue level (P>0.05). Biomass production at physiological maturity showed treatment effects (P<0.05) in 2016. On low quality soils where disc openers were used, a significant increase in biomass production was recorded compared tine openers on medium residues. In the 2017 season, residue level has caused poor wheat establishment that resulted in lower biomass production compared to 2016. Disc openers achieved the lowest (P<0.05) HLM on low quality soils with low residue levels compared to tine openers. Disc openers also resulted in the highest (P<0.05) HLM on high soil quality with high residue level. Therefore, either a disc or tine opener can be used by wheat producers for planting wheat in the Swartland. Further research is suggested which should focus on an economic evaluation of disc and tine openers to give farmers further insight when choosing between the two.