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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL APPLICATION OF AGRICULTURAL WASTE TO IMPROVE CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Tillage System and Fertilizer N Effect on Grain Sorghum and Wheat Yields in the Texas Blackland Prairie

Authors
item TORBERT, HENRY
item Potter, Kenneth
item Morrison, J - UNIV. OF TENNESSEE

Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2006
Publication Date: August 28, 2006
Citation: Torbert III, H.A., Potter, K.N., Morrison, J.E. 2006. Tillage system and fertilizer n effect on grain sorghum and wheat yields in the texas blackland prairie. In: Sustainability - Its Impact on Soil Management and Environment, Proceedings of 17th International Conference of the International Soil Tillage Research Organization, August 28 - September 3, 2006, Kiel, Germany. p. 1200-1205.

Interpretive Summary: Because of problems with erosion, research has been conducted to develop N conservation tillage systems to improve agricultural sustainability on the Blackland Prairie of Texas. Because fertilizer is one on the most expensive parts of crop production, part of this effort entailed examining the effects of fertilizer N management in this region. In 1994, an experiment was established to determine the N fertility plant response as affected by different rates of N fertilizer within different tillage systems. The cropping system included a rotation of corn, grain sorghum and wheat. Plant samples were collected for grain yield, biomass production, and N uptake in grain sorghum and wheat crop in four different years. The N application rate, while having a large impact on corn production (previously published), had little impact on yields of wheat and grain sorghum during the four years of the study. The results indicate that the conservation tillage systems may be the most reliable for wheat and grain sorghum production in the Texas Blackland Prairie.

Technical Abstract: New N management and conservation tillage systems are needed to improve agricultural sustainability on the Blackland Prairie of Texas. In 1994, an experiment was established to determine plant response to N fertilizer rate and timing within three different tillage systems. A split plot experiment with 4 replications was established on a Houston Black clay (fine, smectitic, thermic Udic Haplusterts) soil. The main plots were a chisel tillage system without beds (conventional for the area), a chisel tillage system with raised wide beds, and a no-tillage system with raised wide beds (no-till). The subplots were soil fertility treatments, consisting of four fertility rates (0 to 168 kg N ha-1 for grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) and 0 to 134 kg N ha-1 for wheat (Tritcum aestivum L.) applied at planting. The crop rotation was wheat followed by corn (Zea mays L.), which was followed by grain sorghum. The experimental treatments were imposed on all three crops each year for four years. Plant samples were collected for grain yield, biomass production, and N uptake. The N application rate, while having a large impact on corn production, had little impact on yields of wheat and grain sorghum during the four years of the study. The results indicate that the conservation tillage systems may be the most reliable for wheat and grain sorghum production in the Texas Blackland Prairie.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014