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Old melioration sites

Several sites with former subsoil melioration allow us to understand the long-term effects of these tillage techniques on soil and crops. These include, on the one hand, Treposol sites, i.e. soils that were one-time deep plowed (depth 55-90 cm) in the 1960s to introduce organic matter and nutrients from the topsoil into deeper soil layers and thus enhance root growth in the subsoil. This type of tillage was widespread in northern Germany and was used mainly on sandy sites, but also on loess sites. Also in the 1960s, a subsoil field trial was established near Müncheberg in Brandenburg, where the topsoil was either removed or doubled ("crumb deepening") to increase the fertility of the nutrient-poor sandy soils in northeastern Germany. The trial has now been abandoned for about 30 years.

The long-term effect of mechanical subsoiling was investigated at these sites, focusing on current yields and yield quality, root growth and subsoil properties. The findings from this complement our results from our own subsoil trials (Central Field Experiments).

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