CONSERVATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND PRODUCER PROFITABILITY
Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory
Title: Impact of rye rolling direction and different no-till row-cleaners on cotton emergence and yield
Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2009
Publication Date: March 2, 2009
Citation: Kornecki, T.S., Raper, R.L., Arriaga, F.J., Schwab, E.B., Bergtold, J.S. 2009. Impact of rye rolling direction and different no-till row-cleaners on cotton emergence and yield. Transactions of the ASABE. 52(2):383-391.
Interpretive Summary: Large amounts of cover crop residue can create problems with any tillage practice that must be conducted in the spring, prior to planting. The most common problem is “hair-pinning”, where residue is pushed into the soil rather than being cleanly sheared and thereby preventing good seed-soil contact. Another problem is accumulation of cover crop residue on planting units, which causes frequent stops to clean the equipment. Thus, cover crops must be managed appropriately not to create these problems. In this study, we determined the effect of different rye rolling directions relative to planting cotton direction using a roller/crimper and different commercially available row-cleaners on cotton emergence and yield at two locations, one in central Alabama and the other in northern Alabama. Results indicate that when rye is tall and produces large amount of residue, parallel rolling direction and Dawn™ or Yetter™ row cleaners are recommended. However, when rye is short and produces small amount of biomass, no row cleaners were required with the parallel rolling direction or cotton could be planted into standing rye with Dawn™ or Yetter™ row cleaners. With parallel rolling direction and any tested row cleaner, the stand, emergence rate and cotton yield was the highest, whereas perpendicular and diagonal, with or without row cleaners caused lower stand, emergence rate and yield. Regardless of height and the amount of residue produced by rye, perpendicular and diagonal rolling directions are not recommended.
In no-till conservation farming, cover crops should produce maximum biomass to be effective. Because of the large amounts of residue generated by cover crops, they must be managed appropriately. Roller-crimpers have been used to manage cover crops by rolling them down and creating a thick mat over the soil surface. However, no information is available to assist producers with selecting the direction of rolling relative to planting. Commercial row cleaners are available but no data exist regarding performance of these row cleaners in different rolling directions and amounts of residue. To answer these questions, a study was conducted during two years of 2004 and 2005 to determine the effects of different rolling directions (no rolled rye, parallel, diagonal and perpendicular) and row cleaners (no- row cleaner, Dawn™, Dawn™/no-coulter, and Yetter™) on cotton stand, emergence rate and yield. Two locations, one in central Alabama (EVS) and the other in northern Alabama (TVS) were chosen to account for different climate and soil conditions. Rye (Secale Cereale L.) was chosen as a cover crop. Results show that parallel rolling direction with respect to cotton planting and both row cleaners influenced the highest cotton stand and yield at both locations in both years. The lowest stand and yield were associated with perpendicular rolling direction and no row cleaners. The fastest emergence was observed with parallel rolling direction and both row cleaners. The slowest emergence rate was observed with perpendicular and diagonal directions and no row cleaners. Parallel rolling direction minimized accumulated rye residue on row cleaners and minimized the cleaning time from row cleaners.