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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Strength and Shallow Tillage for Hard Layers over Buried Microirrigation Laterals

item Busscher, Warren
item Camp Jr, Carl
item Bauer, Philip

Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: In a previous study, soil compaction limited cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) growth when production included no-tillage and irrigation with subsurface drip laterals on a loamy sand (Aquic Hapludult). To alleviate compaction and provide a suitable rooting environment, we evaluated two conservation tillage tools that disrupted the soil above the subsurface irrigation laterals. Subsurface laterals were placed either under every row or under alternate mid rows, both buried to a 30-cm depth. Tillage treatments, for each lateral placement, included no-tillage, 20-cm-deep strip tillage with an in-row subsoil shank, and 15-cm-deep broadcast shallow tillage with a stubble-mulch implement. Non-irrigated treatments included no-tillage and 30-cm-deep in-row subsoiling. Soil cone index measurements revealed that tillage tools loosened the soil but compacted zones remained above buried laterals. Loosening the soil did not improve yields. Irrigation improved yield because both 1998 and 1999 were dry years. Deeper loosening is desirable but this may increase the potential of damaging buried laterals.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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