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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Strength and Organic Matter Buildup on Yield in Long-Term Conservation Vs. Conventional Tillage Plots

item Busscher, Warren
item Novak, Jeffrey
item Hunt, Patrick
item Bauer, Philip

Submitted to: International Soil Tillage Research Organization Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2006
Publication Date: August 28, 2006
Citation: Busscher, W.J., Novak, J.M., Hunt, P.G., Bauer, P.J. 2006. Effect of strength and organic matter buildup on yield in long-term conservation vs. conventional tillage plots. In: Proceedings of the International Soil Tillage Research Organization, August 28-September 3, 2006, Kiel, Germany. p. 467-472. 2006 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Long-term tillage plots were established in 1978 to determine organic matter buildup in coastal plain soils for row crop production. Plots were cropped to a two-year rotation of maize, wheat, and soybean with both phases of the rotation grown each year in duplicate sets of plots. Every year, plots were either surface tilled to 0.15 m and deep tilled to 0.4 m to break up a genetic hard layer or deep tilled only. In 1996, plots were split; half of the plots were deep tilled and half not deep tilled to examine buildup of soil strength over time, its effect on yield, and how organic matter buildup over time in conservation tillage plots could compensate for strength buildup. In 2001, no plots were tilled permitting observation of treatments that had not been tilled for differing periods of time. Organic matter buildup in conservation tillage plots improved yield if plots were not deep tilled; but yield increase was not as effective as it was for deep tillage. In 2004, conventional tillage plots in which tillage ceased in 2001 had reconsolidated to the point that their soil strength was not different from conventional tillage plots where tillage had ceased in 1996. However, the same comparison for conservation tillage showed lower soil strengths in the plots where tillage ceased in 2001, suggesting that conservation tillage can help buffer the effects of reconsolidation.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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