Brazil is one of the largest grain producers of the world and Mato Grosso is its main producer state. The production and tillage systems are closely related with soil physical quality, usually estimated through laboratory analysis of its quantitative physical attributes. However, the search for visual methods of soil structure evaluation has increased, such as the VESS (Visual Evaluation of Soil Structure) that provides a simple and quick analysis of soil physical quality directly in the field. The present project aims to evaluate the effects of tillage systems and crop diversity on soil physical quality using the VESS method and to correlate its results with laboratory methods of physical analysis. The evaluation will be performed in two long-term experiments (+9-years) idealized by the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and Mato Grosso Foundation (FMT). The treatments used are: soybean monoculture under conventional till, soybean monoculture, succession (soybean/corn) and crop rotation under no-till and native vegetation. The VESS analysis were performed in June/2018 and soil samples were collected for laboratory analysis of the following attributes: soil water content, microporosity, macroporosity, total porosity, soil water storage capacity, hydraulic conductivity, resistance to penetration and bulk density. If proven the VESS efficiency in the studied conditions, this method will be an important tool that will help farmers, consultants and researchers to monitor the changes in the physical quality of no-till areas in Cerrado.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: