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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Agrochemical and Weed Seed Fate and Transport in Mid-South Crop Production Systems

Location: Crop Production Systems Research Unit

Title: Cotton production as affected by irrigation level and transitioning tillage systems

Authors
item Delaune, P -
item Sij, J -
item Park, S -
item Krutz, Larry

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 3, 2012
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Citation: Delaune, P.B., Sij, J.W., Park, S.C., Krutz, L.J. 2012. Cotton production as affected by irrigation level and transitioning tillage systems. Agronomy Journal. 104(4):991-995.

Interpretive Summary: Identifying management practices that conserve and protect water resources are very important to a wide variety of stakeholders within semi-arid environments. The objective of this research was to develop conservation tillage and water management strategies that enhance lint yields in subsurface drip irrigated (SDI) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) production within the Texas Rolling Plains. Five irrigation regimes [0, 33, 66, 100, and 133% evapotransportation (ET) replacement] and four tillage systems (conventional till, reduced till, no-till, and no-till with a terminated cover crop) were evaluated. Results indicate that there is no preferred tillage system that will result in higher cotton yields under subsurface drip irrigation. Moreover, optimum yield and profitability for all tillage systems pooled over three years was achieved when evapotransportation replacement was at 100%.

Technical Abstract: Identifying management practices that conserve and protect water resources are very important to a wide variety of stakeholders within semi-arid environments. The objective of this research was to develop conservation tillage and water management strategies that enhance lint yields in subsurface drip irrigated (SDI) cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) production within the Texas Rolling Plains. Five irrigation regimes (0, 33, 66, 100, and 133% ET replacement) and four tillage systems (conventional till, reduced till, no-till, and no-till with a terminated cover crop) were evaluated. The study was conducted for three years and treatments were replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Tillage was found to not significantly impact lint yields, whereas water regime had a significant effect. Generally, yields increased with increasing water regimes up to 100% ET replacement. Mean lint yields were significantly higher for 66%, 100%, and 133% water regimes compared to 0% and 33% ET levels. A plateau in the amount of lint produced was seen at water regimes greater than 100%, with similar yields observed between 66% and 133% ET. Based on the 3-yr average, lint yields were at least 5% higher within the 100% ET regime. Data indicate that there is no preferred tillage system that will result in higher cotton yields under SDI at either deficit or full irrigation.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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