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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Conservation Tillage Influences on Corn and Soybean Yields and Soil Quality

item Wallach, Laura
item Linden, Dennis

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 26, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: A long-term tillage and cropping system study was established in Rosemount, MN in 1992 on a Waukegon silt loam in order to assess the sustainability of various production systems. Production systems under evaluation include four tillage treatments (moldboard plow, chisel plow, ridge tillage, and no-till) and two cropping systems (continuous corn, and both phases of a corn/soybean rotation). After five years, these treatments resulted in differences in crop yields and physical and biological soil properties. Moldboard and chisel plow yields were consistently greater than ridge till and no-till. Differences in soil quality, however, were not consistent with yields. In general, aggregate stability was greatest in no-till and was weakest in moldboard plow. Microbial biomass carbon and total carbon were lowest in moldboard plow. Tillage effects on populations of the earthworm A. tuberculata changed during spring and fall samplings. Moldboard plowing shows a deterioration of these sustainable production soil indicators.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015