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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tillage and Residue. Ii. Effects on Soil Water in Dryland Wheat-Fallow Systems

item McMaster, Gregory
item Palic, Daniel
item Erskine, Robert
item Dunn, Gale
item Aiken, Robert

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Soil management practices can alter soil water, which may alter crop development and growth. Crop responses to soil management practices were studied using a split plot design with conventional tillage (CT) and no-tillage (NT) being the main plot and three residue cover levels being split: no residue (OR), normal residue (1R), and twice-normal residue (2R). Soil water was measured with a neutron probe in the soil profile, an gypsum blocks were monitored at 2.5 cm depth, with resulting emergence, phenology, development, and growth recorded. Soil temperature and climatic data were also collected. Measurable differences occurred in soil water levels among treatments. Significant soil water loss occurred from the plow zone due to tillage leading to favorable soil water levels and temperature for earlier and more uniform seedling emergence in no-tillage. This is especially critical for stand establishment in years with low rainfall near rplanting. This resulted in faster plant development and greater biomass an yield in conservation tillage systems.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015