Impacts of different tillage practices on soil water infiltration for sustainable agriculture

Roua Amami, Khaled Ibrahimi, Farooq Sher, Paul Milham, Hiba Ghazouani, Sayed Chehaibi, Zahra Hussain, Hafiz M.N. Iqbal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)
    70 Downloads (Pure)


    Over the years, cultivation using sustainable tillage practices has gained significant impor-tance, but the impact of tillage on soil water infiltration is still a concern for landowners due to the possible effects on crop yield. This study investigates the impact of different tillage managements on the infiltration rate of sandy clay loam soil under a semiarid environment. Field experiments were conducted in Chott Mariem Sousse, Tunisia. The tillage practices consisted of three treatments, including a tine cultivator (TC, 16 cm), moldboard plows (MP, 36 cm) and no-tillage (NT). Three infiltration models, Kostiakov, Philip and Horton, were applied to adjust the observed data and evaluate the infiltration characteristics of the studied soils. Comparison criteria, including the coefficient of determination (R2 ), along with the root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE), were used to investigate the best-fit model. The results showed that moldboard plowing enhanced soil infiltration capacity relative to tine cultivation and no-tillage treatments. The mean saturated hydraulic conductivity was highest under MP, while it was lowest in NT, with 33.4% and 34.1% reduction compared to TC and MP, respectively. Based on the obtained results, Philip’s model showed better results with observed infiltration due to a higher R2 (0.981, 0.973 and 0.967), lower RMSE (3.36, 9.04 and 9.21) and lower MAE (1.46, 3.53 and 3.72) recorded, respectively, for NT, MP and TC. Horton’s model had a low regression coefficient between observed and predicted values. It was suggested that the Philip two-term model can adequately describe the infiltration process in the study area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3155
    JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


    • Energy saving
    • Infiltration
    • Philip model
    • Sustainability
    • Tillage
    • Unsaturated soil and water-stable aggregates

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


    Dive into the research topics of 'Impacts of different tillage practices on soil water infiltration for sustainable agriculture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this