Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 26, 2003
Publication Date: July 26, 2003
Citation: BUSSCHER, W.J., BAUER, P.J. SE COASTAL PLAIN SOIL STRENGTH AND TILLAGE MANAGEMENT FOR FALLOW AND WINTER RYE. PROCEEDINGS OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION SOCIETY MEETING. 2003. p. 57-58. Technical Abstract: For corn, soybean, and wheat grown in SE Coastal Plain hardpan soils, decreases in soil strength lead to increases in yield. For cotton production, we hypothesized that decreased soil strength caused by cover crops and annual tillage would increase yield. Cotton production experimental treatments consisted of winter cover crop (rye or fallow), spring surface tillage (disked or none), and spring deep tillage (in-row subsoiled or none). Soil strength varied among tillage treatments (deep tilled < none), depth ( higher strength in the pan), and position across the row (in row < non-wheel track < wheel track). Lower cone indices were found in non-tilled rye cover (19.6 Atm) than non-tilled fallow (21.2 Atm), suggesting that the rye helped maintain low strengths. However, yields were not significantly different among any treatments. Lack of treatment effect on yield may have been the result of management practices that employed controlled traffic and a small disk in conventionally treated plots. The bad news is that lower soil strength with straight-shank subsoiling did not improve cotton yields. The good news is that conservation management practices may help reduce the frequency of subsoiling while maintaining viable production practices for cotton grown in traditionally wide (38-in) rows. Also, higher cone indices in the disked (21.2 Atm) vs non-disked (19.6 Atm) treatments suggested that the disking hastened recompaction.