Islam, A.K.M.S., Hossain, M.M., Saleque, M.A., Rahman, M.A., Haque, M.E., Bell, R.W. and Karmaker, B. (2011) Effect of tillage and residue retention on maize productivity. In: World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, 26 - 29 September, Brisbane, Australia.
In Bangladesh, maize is generally sown after extensive tilth and minimum residue retention. Conservation agriculture (CA) systems reduce the input costs, machinery use, CO2 emissions; and improve soil health (Raper et al., 1994). Crop residues are known to affect soil physical properties (Hulugalle et al., 1986), availability of nutrients (Wade and Sanchez, 1983; Asghar et al., 2006) and soil biological activity (Tian et al., 1993). Crop residue retention has been suggested to improve overall soil fertility and to support sustainable crop production. Crop residue retention under no tillage system reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter (SOM), and reduce requirement of labour and fuel under cereal grain and row crop culture (Salinas-Garcia et al., 1997). Kumar and Goh (2000) reported that incorporation of crop residues is essential for sustaining soil productivity through replenishing SOM that not only a key indicator of soil quality, but it also supplies essential nutrients upon mineralization (N, P, and S) and improves soil physical, chemical, and biological properties (Kumar et al., 2001). In our country, the crop residue is used mostly for cattle feed (Saadullah et al., 1991), fuel for stove and some cases burning. It is essential to estimate the amount of crop residue that should be retained in field to get the benefits. Therefore, the present research investigated to find out the minimum tillage with residue retention could be an effective element for maize production.