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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: STUBBLE MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON AVAILABLE SOIL WATER

Author
item Nielsen, David

Submitted to: Colorado State University Newsletter
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: March 14, 2003
Publication Date: April 1, 2003
Citation: NIELSEN, D.C. STUBBLE MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON AVAILABLE SOIL WATER. COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY NEWSLETTER. 2003. v. 23, Issue 2, p. 20-21.

Interpretive Summary: Successful dryland crop production in eastern Colorado depends on methods that maintain crop residues on the soil surface that reduce evaporation of precipitation. As amounts of residue on the soil surface increase, evaporation is reduced, precipitation storage efficiency is increased, and more soil water is stored for plant use. Winter wheat yields increase linearly in response to amount of available soil water at planting. Highest yields will come from production systems that minimize tillage, leaving crop residues on the soil surface, and increasing available stored soil water at planting.

Technical Abstract: Successful dryland crop production in eastern Colorado depends on methods that maintain crop residues on the soil surface that reduce evaporation of precipitation. As amounts of residue on the soil surface increase, first stage evaporation rate is reduced. Studies with winter wheat residue have shown precipitation storage efficiency to increase from 16% with no crop residue to 34% with 9000 lb/a of wheat residue. Available soil water did not increase during the fallow period when four tillage operations were used, compared with a 3 inch increase in available soil water when a no-till system was used. Winter wheat yields increase linearly in response to amount of available soil water at planting. Highest yields will come from production systems that minimize tillage, leaving crop residues on the soil surface, and increasing available stored soil water at planting.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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