On the other hand, sands have limited water storage capacity, but because most of it is available, plants can make use of light showers regardless of how dry they are before the shower. Radish Raphanus sativus  and the nitrogen-fixing shrubs Tephrosia vogelii Plate 55 , Sesbania sesban and Gliricidia sepium have also been identified as potentially useful Baxter, ; Douglas et al. In one test with a rainfall simulator, they found that they could apply 3. Tillage leads to the disruption of pore spaces in the soil, and the use of discs, in particular, often causes compaction, which may impede root growth and rainwater percolation. Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society. Status of the technology and its future market potential top:
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Soil Cultivation and Tillage in Organic Agriculture
They are constructed by digging a furrow along the contour and throwing the soil on the downslope side to form ridges. The review concluded that crop residues of cultivated crops are a significant factor for crop production through their effects on soil physical, chemical and biological functions as well as water and soil quality. Limon-Ortega A, Sayre K. Dambo distribution in southern Africa Bell et al. Operations include tilling, planting, fertilisation, pesticide application, harvesting, and residue chopping or shredding. In the semiarid zone west and north-west of Mount Kenya, maize yields increased by a factor of 4. The effect of modest P fertilizer applications on sorghum yields and water use efficiency on P-deficient soils in Botswana is illustrated in Table
Stable, sustainable yields cannot be achieved without adequate water conservation techniques. But this distinction is most important in situations where rainfall is adequate. Protecting the soil surface from wind also slows down evaporation by reducing the rate at which water vapour is removed from the soil surface. Healthy soil that is rich in organic matter and microbial life serves as a sponge that absorbs and retains moisture for plants. Furthermore, the weight of tilling machines compacts those particles, making soil pores even smaller and, therefore, less able to receive and hold water. With zero-till wheat this time is reduced to just 1 day. In sheet-flow runoff harvesting systems sheet-flow runoff is collected from a larger catchment collection area and is concentrated into a smaller cropping area.
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Conservation agriculture in India – Problems, prospects and policy issues - ScienceDirect
Zero-tillage reduces these costs and emissions. Adverse effects of soil compaction on crop production have been recognized for many years. In applicable situations, deep plowing can break up pans to increase water infiltration and reduce runoff and erosion. Soil Tillage in Africa. Long-term impact of rotation, tillage and stubble management on the loss of soil organic carbon and nitrogen from a Chromic Luvisol. The crust formed on the ridges was weaker than other tillage practices as the season progressed. It contributes to environmental conservation as well as to enhanced and sustained agricultural production.