Physical attributes and organic matter in soils with different use/management cultivated with the main crops in the Cerrado of western Bahia, Brazil
Given the importance of agriculture in western Bahia and the conserving natural resources, this study evaluates soil aggregation, soil organic matter, and soil density in the most important crops in that region. Seventeen areas with different management were sampled: five areas cultivated with soybean (Glycine max L.), two cultivated with maize (Zea mays L.), two cultivated with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), two cultivated with eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.), four with pasture, one with crop-livestock integration, two cultivated with coffee (Coffea arabica L.), and two areas of preserved Cerrado. Cotton cultivation was the one that most affected soil aggregation, even under no-tillage. For soybean, no-tillage improved soil aggregation in comparison to conventional tillage. Soil density increased significantly in cultivated areas in comparison to areas in equilibrium. The no-tillage system proved to be efficient in maintaining soil organic matter in soybean growing areas.