The effect of shallow tillage on soil erosion in a semi-arid vineyard

by | Oct 29, 2020 | South Africa Wine Scan


Soil erosion has been considered a threat for semi-arid lands due to the removal of solid materials by water and wind. Although water erosion is currently considered the most important process of soil degradation, a growing interest has been drawn to the impact of soil tillage. Although numerous studies on tillage erosion have been carried out on arable land using a moldboard plow, a chisel, and a tandem disc for different crops, there are no studies on the effect of shallow tillage on soil redistribution in vineyards. The aim of this work was to evaluate the soil tillage erosion rate in a vineyard using a 13C natural abundance tracer.


  • A strip of soil (C3-C soil) was removed, mixed with C4-C tracer, and replaced.
  • After the installation of the strip, tillage (upslope in one inter-row and downslope in the other inter-row) was performed with a cultivator.
  • Soil was collected along the slope with an interval of 0.2 m from the C4-C strip.
  • Soil organic carbon and δ13C were measured and the total mass of translocated soil (T) soil was calculated.


  • The net effect of tillage after two consecutive operations (downslope and upslope tillage) was a T of 49.3 ± 4.2 kg m−1.
  • The estimated annual erosion rate due to tillage in the studied vineyard was 9.5 ± 1.2 Mg ha−1year−1.
  • The contribution of the soil tillage erosion rate was compared with that of water erosion in the same vineyard, and researchers conclude that tillage is a threat to soil degradation.


Novara, A.; Stallone, G.; Cerdà, A.; Gristina, L. The Effect of Shallow Tillage on Soil Erosion in a Semi-Arid Vineyard. Agronomy 2019, 9, 257.

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This abstract is republished in its original form as permitted by the following Creative Commons licence:

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