WATER, vol.12, no.6, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
There is an urgent need to implement environmentally friendly agriculture management practices to achieve the Sustainable Goals for Development (SDGs) of the United Nations by 2030. Mediterranean agriculture is characterized by intense and millennia-old tillage management and as a consequence degraded soil. No-Tillage has been widely examined as a solution for soil degradation but No-Tillage relies more on the application of herbicides that reduce plant cover, which in turn enhances soil erosion. However, No-Tillage with weed cover should be researched to promote organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Therefore, we compare Tillage against No-Tillage using weed cover as an alternative strategy to reduce soil losses in persimmon plantations, both of them under organic farming management. To achieve these goals, two plots were established at "La Canyadeta" experimental station on 25-years old Persimmon plantations, which are managed with Tillage and No-Tillage for 3 years. A survey of the soil cover, soil properties, runoff generation and initial soil losses using rainfall simulation experiments at 55 mm h(-1)in 0.25 m(2)plot was carried out. Soils under Tillage are bare (96.7%) in comparison to the No-Tillage (16.17% bare soil), with similar organic matter (1.71 vs. 1.88%) and with lower bulk densities (1.23 vs. 1.37 g cm(3)). Tillage induces faster ponding (60 vs. 92 s), runoff (90 vs. 320 s) and runoff outlet (200 vs. 70 s). The runoff discharge was 5.57 times higher in the Tillage plots, 8.64 for sediment concentration and 48.4 for soil losses. We conclude that No-tillage shifted the fate of the tilled field after 3 years with the use of weeds as a soil cover conservation strategy. This immediate effect of No-Tillage under organic farming conditions is very promising to achieve the SDGs.