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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ECOLOGICALLY-SOUND PEST, WATER AND SOIL MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR NORTHERN GREAT PLAINS CROPPING SYSTEMS Title: Tillage Effects on Dryland Soil Physical Properties in Northeastern Montana

Authors
item Jabro, Jalal "jay"
item Sainju, Upendra
item Lenssen, Andrew
item Evans, Robert

Submitted to: Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2010
Publication Date: September 1, 2011
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/53908
Citation: Jabro, J.D., Sainju, U.M., Lenssen, A.W., Evans, R.G. 2011. Tillage Effects on Dryland Soil Physical Properties in Northeastern Montana. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis. 42(18):2179-2187.

Interpretive Summary: We evaluated the effect of no tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) under continuous spring wheat altering with fallow on soil penetration resistance (PR), bulk density (BD), gravimetric moisture content (MC), and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks). The study was conducted on two soils mapped as Dooley sandy loam and Williams loam at the Froid and Sidney sites. Soil measurements were made on May 19, June 23, and August 4, 2005 at the Froid site and on June 6 and July 8, 2005 at Sidney site. Results indicated that tillage had no effect on either soil properties except on the PR at the Sidney site. However, soil PR, MC and BD varied significantly with depth regardless of tillage and location. Further, soil PR and MC varied with the date of sampling at both locations and PR generally increased with decreased MC in soil at all depths. Soil Ks was slightly influenced by tillage at both sites.

Technical Abstract: Spring wheat alternating with fallow is a traditional cropping system in semiarid regions including the northern Great Plains (NGP) where precipitation often is insufficient for continuous cropping. We evaluated the effect of no tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) under continuous spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) altering with fallow on soil penetration resistance (PR), bulk density (BD), gravimetric moisture content (MC), and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks). The study was conducted on two soils mapped as Dooley fine-sandy loam (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid, Typic Argiustolls) and Williams loam (fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, frigid, Typic Argiustolls) at the Froid and Sidney dryland sites near Culbertson and Sidney, MT, respectively. Tillage treatments consist of no-till chemical fallow and conventional tillage fallow at each location in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Soil PR was measured using a digital penetrometer in 2.5-cm increments to a depth of 20 cm at three locations across each plot. Undisturbed soil cores were sampled at 0 to 5, 5 to 10, and 10 to 15 cm depths and were used to measure BD, MC, and particle size distribution. Soil Ks was measured at 10 ' 15 cm depth using a constant head well permeameter. Soil measurements were made on May 19, June 23, and August 4, 2005 at the Froid site and on June 6 and July 8, 2005 at Sidney. Results indicated that tillage had no effect on either soil properties except on the PR at Sidney. However, soil PR, MC and BD varied significantly with depth regardless of tillage and location. Further, soil PR and MC varied with the date of sampling at both locations and PR generally increased with decreased MC in soil at all depths. Soil Ks was slightly influenced by tillage at both locations.

Last Modified: 10/19/2014
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