a system of soil tillage used after the harvesting of early-ripening agricultural crops in regions with a long, warm autumn. In the USSR, this system is used widely in preparation of the planting of winter wheat in the southern steppe regions of the Ukraine, in Moldavia, in the Northern Caucasus, in Transcaucasia, and in Middle Asia. In the forest-steppe zone, autumn fallow is used to prepare for spring plantings (spring wheat, barley, sugar beets, corn, and sunflower).
The soil is deep plowed after the harvesting of the previous crop. It then undergoes two or three cultivations or scufflings. If the soil is moist enough and breaks up well, it is plowed to the full depth of the plowing horizon and, at the same time, rolled and harrowed. In dry weather, the field is scuffled and packed, and after two or three weeks it is plowed and harrowed. Weeds that have germinated are destroyed by later cultivations and harrowing. On soils that tend to become muddy (chestnut soils, solonetsic chernozems) the plowing horizon is loosened in the autumn to prevent its becoming too compact in the spring.
Compared to autumn tillage (scuffling and plowing) the autumn-fallow increases the yield of winter wheat by 3-4 centners per hectare and raises spring wheat and barley yields by 2-3 centners per hectare.
REFERENCESZemledelie iuzhnoi zony Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR. Moscow, 1966.
Sistemy zemledliia i sevooboroty osnovnykh zon Rossiiskoi federatsii. Moscow, 1968.
S. I. SAVEL’EV