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Appendix 3

Functions of Crop Residues in Zero Tillage

  • Reduce soil and water losses by erosion;
  • Reduce the impact of raindrops, protecting the soil against compaction and pulverization of soil aggregates;
  • Increase the infiltration rate of water into the soil;
  • Stabilize the soil temperature, favouring biological processes and soil life;
  • Maintain soil moisture through the mulch effect;
  • Act as a nutrient re-cycling agent, ensuring high soil biological activity;
  • Increase the organic matter in the soil profile, improving the CEC and physical structure of the soil;
  • Assist in the control of weeds, either by light suppression or by allelopathy, i.e. phytotoxic between plants or residues and plants