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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: Evaluation of Long-Term Impacts of Tillage and Cropping Systems in Alabama, USA

Authors
item Torbert, Henry
item Krueger, Elena - AGROPHYSICAL RES. INST.
item Kurtener, Dmitry - AGROPHYSICAL RES. INST.

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 26, 2007
Publication Date: September 26, 2007
Citation: Torbert III, H.A., Krueger, E., Kurtener, D. 2007. Evaluation of Long-Term Impacts of Tillage and Cropping Systems in Alabama, USA. In: Proceedings of Jubilee Celebrations in Agrophysical Research Institute, September 24-26, 2007, St. Petersburg, Russia. p. 39-41.

Interpretive Summary: Development of sustainable agriculture production systems depends on the use of reliable crop rotations and tillage systems. A long-term experiment was established to examine the interaction between tillage and corn-soybean cropping systems at the Sand Mountain Substation, Crossville, AL, USA. The experimental treatments consisted of three tillage systems and four crop rotations which included a winter cover crop. The data collected over the first 10 years from this experiment was analyzed using a computer simulation approach called fuzzy multi attributive decision-making. Results indicate that the chisel plow tillage system with corn and soybean rotation was the best alternative. In all cases the treatments with a continuous cropping system were inferior and the conventional tillage systems with a continuous cropping system was the worst of the alternatives.

Technical Abstract: Development of sustainable agriculture production systems depends on the use of reliable crop rotations and tillage systems. Understanding the interaction between different cropping and tillage systems as they affect crop yields over the long-term is essential for determining the best alternatives for crop production. A long-term experiment was established to examine the interaction between tillage and corn-soybean cropping systems on a Hartsells fine sandy loam soil at the Sand Mountain Substation, Crossville, AL. The experimental treatments consisted of three tillage systems and four crop rotations. The tillage treatments were 1) conventional tillage (plots are prepared with a rototiller before planting), 2) in-row-chisel tillage (plots are chisel plowed (12 inches) and planted with no-till planter), and 3) no-tillage (plots are planted with a no-till planter). The crop rotation treatments were 1) continuous corn - with a wheat cover crop, 2) continuous soybean - with a wheat cover crop, 3) corn and 4) soybean rotation - with a wheat cover crop, 5) corn and 6) soybean rotation - with wheat harvested for grain. The data collected over the first 10 years from this experiment was analyzed using a computer simulation approach called fuzzy multi attributive decision-making. Absolute value deviation/distance of each alternative of tillage and crop rotation systems and fertilizer treatments from the ideal alternative was used as a measure for choosing the optimal alternative. Results indicate that the CHISEL_Rotation_COVER was considered the best alternative and the NO-TILL_Rotation_COVER was the next best alternative. In all cases the treatments with the continuous cropping system were inferior and the CONV_Continuous alternative was the worst of the cropping system and tillage system alternatives.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014