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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #117578


item Morrison Jr, John

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Farmers growing annual crops, such as corn, are dependent upon field machine and tillage systems to successfully establish and grow their crops for profitable yields. These farmers must select components of machine systems to be compatible with their chosen tillage systems. Farmers using "No-till" and a modification termed "Row-Zone Strip-Till" conservation tillage systems, have been experiencing problems of reduced corn seedling emergence and slowed growth under some conditions, as compared to conventional intensive tillage systems. The use of conservation tillage systems is encouraged because of benefits to the farmer, the environment, and society from the resulting reductions of soil and nutrient losses, cleaner water quality, and increased water stored in the soil for crops. We studied 27 combinations of corn plant presswheels, types of planters, and tillage systems to identify compatibility problems and the most compatible combinations of these factors for the emergence, growth and yield of corn crops in replicated plots in 1996 and 1997. We found that crop yield was not as good a criteria for selection as were seedling emergence and growth. The results were quite different between tillage systems, so that a farmer should first select a tillage system to be used then select the most compatible combination of presswheels and type of planter. From our results, the best selections were similar for conventional and row-zone tillage. No-till tillage systems required a different set of machine components for the best performance. The most compatible combinations are identified for each field condition as a guideline to farmers, extension advisors, and researchers who are or improved benefits.

Technical Abstract: Corn (Zea mays L.) was grown in 1996 and 1997 to study the compatibility between selected planter presswheels, planter furrow openers, and tillage systems. After the evaluation of 27 combinations of these factors, it was concluded that for the cropping of corn in the soils and conditions encountered in Central Texas during a drought in 1996 and more normal season in 1997, that early seedling emergence and early plant growth height were much more affected by treatment combinations than was crop yield. The study produced many three dimensional interactions which indicates compatibility linkages between the three tested factors. By separating tillage systems, it was concluded that: a) For conventional tillage, the John Deere "MaxEmerge" Model 7100 planter was highest ranked across both years; b) For No-Till tillage, the experimental sweep-type planter with either rubber or AcruPlant "Optimizer" presswheels, or the John Deere planter with cast iron presswheels were ranked highest; c) For Row-Zone strip tillage, the John Deere planter was not sensitive to type of presswheels, producing the highest seedling emergence and early plant growth. The experimental USDA "Combination Opener" triple-disc opener planter was not consistent across years, in terms of seedling emergence or early plant growth in strip tillage. The many interactions discussed in this report establish that there are compatibility problems between row-crop planter presswheels, planter furrow openers, and tillage systems.