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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Enahancing Productivity of Central Great Plains Dryland Agroecosystems

Authors
item Peterson, G - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Westfall, D - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Farahani, Hamid - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sherrod, Lucretia
item Ahuja, Lajpat

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Production in the Great Plains is water limited and wheat-fallow has been the most commonly used cropping system. Our long-term dryland agroecosystem project has studied the effects of climate, soils, and more intensive cropping systems on productivity for 12 years. No-till systems with 2 in 3 years and 3 in 4 years of cropping have increased annualized grain production by 72 and 90%, respectively compared to wheat-fallow. Even in the harshest climatic region, the increase has been 75 and 97%, respectively. Productivity increases are attributable to no-till practices, which have permitted successful growth of summer crops in a climate where summer rainfall is predominant. Increased efficiency in water storage between crops and during cropping periods is the key. Additionally, the intensive systems have reduced erosion potential and tended to improve surface soil organic matter content.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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