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ARS Home » Plains Area » Sidney, Montana » Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory » Agricultural Systems Research » Research » Research Project #428532

Research Project: Research and Demonstration of Minimum Tillage and Optimum Water and Nitrogen Management in Sugarbeet in Eastern Montana

Location: Agricultural Systems Research

Project Number: 3032-13210-007-03-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 1, 2017
End Date: Dec 31, 2019

Objective:
Develop a sustainable strip tillage system for sugarbeet production by determining optimum water and nitrogen management strategies.

Approach:
Field trials will be conducted in Eastern Agricultural Research Center in Sidney, MT for three years starting spring 2017. Tillage (conventional vs. strip tillage), nitrogen fertilizer rate, and irrigation regime (deficit vs. full rate) treatments will be applied to plots in the field study. Canopy reflectance data, plant and soil samples, and harvest yield data will be collected to quantify the effects of treatments on crop growth and yield. Results will also be used to estimate nitrogen use efficiency and irrigation water use efficiency. Soil-test-based nitrogen management will also be compared to canopy-sensor-based nitrogen management. Plant pathologist collaborators will collect plant root and tissue samples to assess any disease related to tillage and irrigation treatments. Demonstration plots comparing strip tillage to conventional practices will be established in our cooperator farmer’s fields for at least two years. All yield and quality traits will be measured in these trials, as similar as our research trails. Field days and workshops will be held by the researchers and extension agents to communicate findings to farmers. A very important aim of this project is to increase awareness of the growers about the importance of conservation tillage and optimum nitrogen and water management. We will evaluate our success to achieve this goal using pre-project and post-project surveys. Questionnaires will be distributed to growers during the field days and sugarbeet crop tours.