Submitted to: Direct Seeding Intensive Cropping Conference
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tilling soil to prepare seedbeds or control weeds leaves fields vulnerable to soil erosion. Erosion in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) is often severe because fields are steep, water intake is slow and most of the precipitation comes in the winter when soil is frozen. Establishing crops without tillage is called no-till or direct seeding and these systems provide undisturbed soil and crop residue on the soil surface for erosion control. Less than 5 percent of the cropland in the PNW is no-till or direct seeded compared to the national average of 16 percent. An overview is present of no-till seeding equipment modifications, options, limitations and principles. The three most important no-till seeding equipment concerns for the PNW are seed and fertilizer placement, operation on steep slopes and crop residue management.
Technical Abstract: Adoption of no-till or direct seeding in the dryland crop production region of the Pacific Northwest (PNW) lags the rest of the nation. One of the reasons for low adoption of no-till seeding systems in the PNW is lack of equipment designed for the unique conditions of the region. Slopes exceeding 30 percent and wheat residue in excess of 5,000 lbs/acre are often encountered during no-till seeding in this region. For adequate crop stands to be established with no-till seeding systems in the PNW it is essential that seed and fertilizer are properly placed, seeding equipment function on steep slopes and crop residue managed. An overview of seeding equipment options, modifications and principles with consideration for PNW conditions is presented.