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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Tillage on Double-Croppped Flax/cotton Production and Fiber Properties

Authors
item Foulk, Jonn
item Bauer, Philip
item Akin, Danny
item Busscher, Warren
item Camp Jr, Carl
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas

Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2005
Publication Date: August 3, 2007
Citation: Foulk, J.A., Bauer, P.J., Akin, D.E., Busscher, W.J., Camp Jr, C.R., Ayala Silva, T. 2007. Effect of tillage on double-croppped flax/cotton production and fiber properties. Online. Crop Management doi:10.1094/CM-2007-0803-01-RS.

Interpretive Summary: Few studies relate to flax double-cropped with cotton and properties of flax fiber related to soil conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine if cotton plant residue from tillage and sub-soiling techniques were harmful or helpful to winter flax yields under South Atlantic conditions. This study evaluated how flax fiber yield and quality were impacted by tillage and sub-soiling. As expected, subsoiling increased the cotton and flax yield which is similar to findings for other crops. Cotton yields were not influenced by tillage treatment while flax dry plant matter yields were larger for chisel and disk treatments than for no tillage. Cotton fiber properties are such that conservation systems appear to be a viable option for growers due to fiber property improvements. Fiber flax yield and fiber properties indicate additional field preparation may be required to produce increased yields with improved fiber properties. Results indicate that conservation tillage practices can be beneficial for cotton production under southeastern USA Coastal Plain growing conditions but additional research is needed for the production of fiber flax with this management practice.

Technical Abstract: There are limited studies related to flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) double-cropped with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and physical properties of flax fiber related to soil conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine if degree of cotton plant residue incorporated via various tillage and sub-soiling techniques were detrimental or beneficial to winter flax yields under South Atlantic conditions. This study evaluated how flax fiber yield and quality were impacted by tillage and sub-soiling since agricultural crops are regularly influenced by geographic, climatic, and soil conditions. As expected, subsoiling increased the cotton and flax yield which is similar to findings for other crops on southeastern USA Coastal Plain soils. Cotton yields were not influenced by tillage treatment while flax dry plant matter yields were significantly greater for chisel and disk treatments than for no tillage. For the fiber properties studied, micronaire, fiber length, and fiber length uniformity of cotton along with flax fiber strength were impacted by the tillage management studied. Cotton fiber properties are such that conservation systems appear to be a viable option for growers due to fiber property improvements. Fiber flax yield and fiber properties indicate additional field preparation may be requird to produce increased yields with improved fiber properties. Our results indicate that conservation tillage practices can be beneficial for cotton production under southeastern USA Coastal Plain growing conditions but additional research on improved techniques is needed for the production of fiber flax with this management practice.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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