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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONSERVATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH FOR IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND PRODUCER PROFITABILITY Title: Benefits of alternating the shank location on a bent-leg strip-till

Authors
item Arriaga, Francisco
item Donoghue, Ann
item Balkcom, Kipling
item Kornecki, Ted
item Price, Andrew
item Bergtold, Jason

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 8, 2008
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
Citation: Arriaga, F.J., Raper, R.L., Balkcom, K.S., Kornecki, T.S., Price, A.J., Bergtold, J.S. 2008. Benefits of alternating the shank location on a bent-leg strip-till. In: Boyd, S., et al, editors. Proceedings of the National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 8-11, 2008, Nashville, Tenessee. p. 1608-1611.

Interpretive Summary: This study was initiated in 2004 at the E.V. Smith Agricultural Research Center, near Shorter, in central Alabama. A cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) –corn (Zea mays) rotation was established, with both phases of the rotation present each year. Two tillage treatments were studied: 1) bent-leg strip-till with the shanks remaining on the same position every year, and 2) bent-leg strip-till with the shanks alternating locations every other year. Spacing between shanks was 36”, same as the row spacing. Alternating the location of the shank consisted in inverting the direction the bent-legs faced from one year to the next. The objective was to determine if by inverting the shank orientation a larger volume of soil was loosened, thus improving yields. The alternating shank location produced greater cotton yield both years. Seedcotton yields for the alternating shank location treatment were 203 lb/ac greater (3,012 vs. 2,809 lb/ac) in 2005, and 475 lb/ac greater (1,978 vs. 1,503 lb/ac) in 2006. Corn yields showed no difference between tillage treatments. Differences in soil moisture measured during both growing seasons were small. Soil penetration resistance data collected at the end of both seasons suggest that the alternating shank location treatment loosens a greater volume of soil. These data might suggest that cotton benefits most from this non-inversion tillage operation.

Technical Abstract: This study was initiated in 2004 at the E.V. Smith Agricultural Research Center, near Shorter, in central Alabama. A cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) –corn (Zea mays) rotation was established, with both phases of the rotation present each year. Two tillage treatments were studied: 1) bent-leg strip-till with the shanks remaining on the same position every year, and 2) bent-leg strip-till with the shanks alternating locations every other year. Spacing between shanks was 36”, same as the row spacing. Alternating the location of the shank consisted in inverting the direction the bent-legs faced from one year to the next. The objective was to determine if by inverting the shank orientation a larger volume of soil was loosened, thus improving yields. The alternating shank location produced greater cotton yield both years. Seedcotton yields for the alternating shank location treatment were 203 lb/ac greater (3,012 vs. 2,809 lb/ac) in 2005, and 475 lb/ac greater (1,978 vs. 1,503 lb/ac) in 2006. Corn yields showed no difference between tillage treatments. Differences in soil moisture measured during both growing seasons were small. Soil penetration resistance data collected at the end of both seasons suggest that the alternating shank location treatment loosens a greater volume of soil. These data might suggest that cotton benefits most from this non-inversion tillage operation.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014