Performance of Soft Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under Two Management Systems ‘No-Till' and 'Conventional’ in a Low Rainfall Semi-Arid Mediterranean Area of Morocco
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Hassan 2 University , falculty of sciences Ben M'sick
INRA Morocco, Department of Agronomy, Po BOX:844 Settat Mohamed 6 University Polytechnic
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Mohamed Amine El Mzouri   

Hassan 2 University , falculty of sciences Ben M'sick
Ecol. Eng. Environ. Technol. 2023; 8
The objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of soft wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in farmers’ fields under No-till farming compared to conventional farming with two management practices: ‘Research recommended’ vs ‘Local farmers’ practices. The study was conducted over a period of three cropping seasons in the Chaouia plain in Western Morocco, a Mediterranean semi-arid area with low rainfall. Trials were set up in a split-plot design with two factors: Factor 1: Management method (2) (No-till vs. Conventional) and Factor 2: Practices (2): Research recommended vs. Farmers' local practices, with four replications and were carried out at four farmers’ fields (sites). Data collected included: stand density, canopy height, average number of tillers per plant, number of spikes per plant, biological yield, grain yield and harvest index. The results obtained show a significant effect of climatic years on the measured parameters. No-till system significantly improved yield components, canopy height, biological yield, and grain yield, particularly in dry years. No-till as practiced by farmers (C2) improved biological and grain yields, respectively, by 18 and 42% compared with farmers' current local practices (C1). These gains were, respectively, 83% and 142%, for the research recommended package under No-till, those of the research recommended package under conventional management (without direct seeding), were 61% and 81% for the biological and the grain yields, respectively. The harvest index increased from 27% under the current conventional farmers’ local management (C1), to 31% with the research recommended package under the same management mode. Under No-till management, this index increased to 33% with local practices (C2) and 36% with the research recommended packages. No-till system can be a adaptative and resilient practice for wheat cultivation in the low rain fall semi-arid areas impacted by climate change, but farmers should consider the adoption of the whole No-till system, rather than limiting themselves solely to the zero-till seeder technique.