Submitted to: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Wuest, S.B., Williams, J.D., Gollany, H.T., Siemens, M.C., Long, D.S. 2008. Comparison of runoff and soil erosion from no-till and inversion tillage production systems. Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report. Technical Abstract: Conservation tillage systems that prevent soil erosion and maintain or increase soil carbon offer long-term benefits for producers in the inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) USA. Our objective was to compare conventional tillage and no-till for runoff and soil erosion. Two neighboring drainages in the 13 in. precipitation zone of northeastern Oregon were instrumented to record rainfall, runoff, and erosion over a four-year period (2001-04). One drainage was cropped to a winter wheat-fallow rotation and received inversion tillage. The second drainage was cropped in a four-year no-till rotation: winter wheat-chemical fallow-winter wheat-chickpea. We recorded 13 runoff events from the inversion tillage drainage and three from the no-till drainage. Runoff totaled 0.20 in. and erosion 0.19 tons/acre from inversion tillage, versus 0.03 in. and 0.00 tons/acre from no-till. Small, 11-square-foot runoff collectors placed on the hillslopes measured large amounts of water and soil moving downslope under inversion tillage. The no-till cropping system was very effective in reducing soil and water movement.