Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 27, 2005
Publication Date: June 27, 2005
Citation: Arriaga, F.J., Balkcom, K.S., Raper, R.L. 2005. Soil moisture and cotton leaf temperature in conservation systems. In: Proceedings of the Southern Conservation Tillage Systems Conference, June 27-29, 2005, Clemson University, Florence, South Carolina. p.111-112. Interpretive Summary: A survey conducted in 2002 revealed that many soils in central Alabama have hard pans within the top 12 inches of soil. Typically these soils have low organic matter contents. Traditional tillage practices severely disturb the soil surface, thus causing soil organic matter losses. Other tillage practices are now available that minimize soil surface disruption while breaking-up compacted soil layers. In the fall 2003 a field experiment was started to determine the potential of four conservation tillage systems and three winter cover crops to reduce soil compaction, increase soil organic matter content and moisture availability. Soil moisture was monitored continuously during the growing season to a depth of 12 inches. An infrared thermometer was used to determine cotton leaf temperature during the fruiting period. Cover crops increased soil moisture contents, reduced leaf temperature, and increased lint yields when compared to the no cover treatment. Development of new alternative soil and crop management systems is crucial to improve sustainability and environmental quality of the region.