|Nokes, Sue - UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY|
|Subler, S - OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY|
|Blair, J - OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: Soil & Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 12, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Environmental concerns, especially related to water quality, have prompted farmers and researchers to consider alternative and innovative farming systems in order to minimize agricultural impacts on water quality. Our research looked at three cropping/tillage systems that use different amounts of tillage, nitrogen fertilizers, and herbicides. We wanted to know whether reduction of tillage, nitrogen, and herbicide affected crop establishment, yields, weed pressures, and residue cover for erosion protection. We found no difference in corn or soybean yields with the three different systems. Surface residue cover exceeded the required 30% conservation compliance requirement in all systems. Weeds were controlled adequately in all systems even with reduced herbicide use. Farming systems with reduced inputs of tillage, fertilizer and herbicides can be adopted without loss of yield or increased weed problems.
Technical Abstract: Systems research is a departure from traditional, controlled factor experiments. Whole system experiments provide information about interactions that affect the success of the system. The objectives of this study were to compare corn and soybean productivity, surface residue cover after planting, corn plant establishment, and weed biomass under three cropping/tillage systems. The systems were continuous corn (chisel plowed), corn/soybean rotation (no-tillage for corn/chisel plowed for soybeans), and corn/soybean/wheat rotation (ridge tillage). All phases of each rotation were established in triplicate on 0.4 ha plots on a Huntington silt loam soil at Piketon, Ohio, U.S.A. No differences in yields between systems were detected, except for the first year soybeans on ridges. The no-till corn had significantly higher residue cover at planting than the other two systems, however, all systems had surface residue cover ò 30% in at least half of the years studied. Differences in plant emergence were detected only in 1995 for corn. No differences between systems were detected for early season and end of season weed biomass. Based on five years of field data, any of these three cropping/tillage systems can be adopted on Huntington silt-loam soil without yield reductions.