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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tillage and Wheel Traffic Effects on Corn Yield and Root Growth

Authors
item Kaspar, Thomas
item Erbach, Donald

Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Controlled wheel traffic is one way to manage compaction in no-till and ridge-till systems. This study was conducted from 1993 to 1995 at Kanawha, IA, on a Webster silty clay loam (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Haplaquoll) to examine the effect of a wheel traffic pattern on corn shoot growth and yield in no-till, ridge-till, and chisel-plow tillage systems. The wheel traffic pattern was configured so that some rows would have wheel tracks directly over the row, on both sides, on one side, or on neither side. The axle load applied was 19,000 lbs. Bulk density, shoot dry weight, and yield were measured for each of the rows. In general, the effect of tillage systems on yield was not significant averaged across rows. Position of rows relative to the traffic pattern had some effect, however, on all measured parameters. Bulk density was greatest in trafficked interrows (1.36 Mg m**-3) and least in untrafficked interrows (1.09 Mg m**-3). Yield of rows planted into wheel tracks were drastically reduced (more than 25 bu/acre) and yields of rows with wheel tracks on one side were reduced as much as 13 bu/acre in some years as compared with rows without wheel tracks on either side. Shoot dry weight measurements have not been analyzed at this time.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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