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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Using Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts to Improve Crop Production Systems and Environment Quality

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Effects of various strip widths in strip tillage on seed emergence and yield of sunflower

Authors
item Celik, Ahmet -
item Altikat, Sefa -
item Way, Thomas

Submitted to: Soil and Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 9, 2013
Publication Date: July 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/57087
Citation: Celik, A., Altikat, S., Way, T.R. 2013. Effects of various strip widths in strip tillage on seed emergence and yield of sunflower. Soil and Tillage Research. 131:20-27.

Interpretive Summary: Conservation tillage is a cropping system that maintains a minimum of 30% crop residue cover on the soil surface after the crop is planted. Conservation tillage often conserves soil moisture and can be helpful in crop production where soil moisture limits crop yield. Strip tillage is a type of conservation tillage characterized by tillage of a strip of soil and then planting the crop row along the centerline of the strip. The tilled zones are generally less than 50% of the field area. An experiment was conducted over two growing seasons in eastern Turkey to determine effects of three widths of the tilled strips on sunflower production. Tillage of the soil strips was done using a powered row crop rotary hoe which is a tractor-drawn field implement having a group of narrow rotary tillers spaced evenly along the width of the implement. The shafts of the rotary tillers are powered by the tractor power take-off. Three strip widths (9, 12, and 15 in.) were used and they correspond to tilled zones of 30, 40, and 50% of the field area, respectively. The forward speed of the powered rotary hoe was 3.4 mph and the powered rotary hoe tillage depth was 4 in. The sunflower plants were grown with a row spacing of 30 in. Soil temperature was found to increase with strip width. Soil moisture content decreased as strip width increased, as a result of evaporation loss from the surface of the tilled strips. Sunflower seed emergence, seed yield, plant height, and stalk diameter increased as strip width increased. The lowest seed emergence occurred for the 9 in. strip width. Average sunflower seed yields for the two years were 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9 ton/acre for the 9, 12, and 15 in. strip widths, respectively.

Technical Abstract: Strip tillage is a type of conservation tillage characterized by tillage of a strip of soil and then planting the crop row along the centerline of the strip. Strip tillage combines the benefits of no-tillage and full-width tillage. The tilled zones are generally less than 50% of the field area. Strip tillage is a conservation tillage method which is beneficial to long-term soil quality improvement, erosion control, and environmental protection. An important process in this system is the use of crop residues to cover and continuously protect the soil surface. A two-year field experiment was conducted in eastern Turkey to determine effects of strip width on some soil physical properties, and seed emergence and yield of sunflower. A row crop rotary hoe with C-type blades was used in the experiment to till soil in strips. Three strip widths (9, 12, and 15 in.) were used and they correspond to tilled zones of 30, 40, and 50% of the field area, respectively. The three strip widths were achieved by changing the positions of the blades on the flanges and the number of flanges on each row of the rotary hoe. The rotary hoe was used with a constant rotor rotational speed of 370 rpm, a forward speed of 3.4 mph, and a tillage depth of 4 in. The experiment was designed as a randomized complete block with three replicates. The sunflower row spacing was 30 in. The soil temperature was found to increase with strip width. Soil moisture content decreased as strip width increased, as a result of evaporation loss from the surface of the tilled strips. Sunflower seed emergence, seed yield, plant height, and stalk diameter increased as strip width increased. Seed emergence ranged from 66.7% to 93.3%. The lowest seed emergence occurred for the 9 in. strip width. Average sunflower seed yields for the two years were 1.7, 1.8, and 1.9 ton/acre for the 9, 12, and 15 in. strip widths, respectively.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014