Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Meetings Papers
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: July 14, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Planting of row crops on permanent ridges was developed primarily in the cornbelt, but is being adapted for graded furrow irrigation. This study was conducted during 1992-95 on the Southern High Plains at Bushland, TX, to determine the effect of permanent ridge furrows on fallow season soil water storage, irrigation intake, evapotranspiration (ET), grain yield, and dwater use efficiency (WUE) with grain sorghum; and to determine effect of precision cultivation with reduced herbicide application for weed control. Treatments were ridge-till (RT), conventionally tilled bed planting (BED), and flat planting (FLAT) with furrows opened during cultivation on a 550 m (1800 ft) furrow run. Seedling emergence and heading were 1-2 days earlier for RT in 2 of 3 yrs. Grain yields averaged highest for RT at 7.91 Mg/ha (7400 lb/ac) compared with 7.17 and 7.54 Mg/ha (6380 and 6710 lb/ac) for BED and FLAT treatments, respectively. The WUE averaged 1.26, 1.08, and 1.19 kg/m**3 (285, 244, and 269 lb/ac-in) for RT, BED, and FLAT treatments respectively. The WUE for RT was significantly higher than for the BED treatment. The RT cultural operation and planting costs were about $67.00/ha ($27/ac) lower than for BED planting while FLAT planting treatment costs were $12.50/ha ($5.00/ac) lower than BED planting. RT and FLAT planting were less dependent on timely rainfall to provide a moist seed zone than was BED planting. Precision cultivation successfully controlled 90-95% of weeds compared with 95-98% control with atrazine herbicide.