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Title: EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM WINTER WHEAT, SUMMER FALLOW RESIDUE AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT ON FIELD HYDROLOGY IN SILT LOAM, NORTH-CENTRAL OREGON, U.S.A.

Author
item Williams, John

Submitted to: Soil & Tillage Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2003
Publication Date: 1/2/2004
Citation: WILLIAMS, J.D. EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM WINTER WHEAT, SUMMER FALLOW RESIDUE AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT ON FIELD HYDROLOGY IN SILT LOAM, NORTH-CENTRAL OREGON, U.S.A. SOIL & TILLAGE RESEARCH. 75 (2004) 109-119.

Interpretive Summary: Runoff, rainwater that does not infiltrate and become soil water and contribute to crop production, was measured in winter wheat/fallow fields on the Columbia Plateau. This experiment was originally begun in 1931 to examine the influence on soil fertility and crop production of nutrient amendments and crop residue management practices. We evaluated the influence of farming practices on soil and field hydrology. Four of the farming practices were common in 1931, and two of them are still used today. Our measurements are the first evaluation of these treatments, which represent a set of past and current cultural practices, on field hydrology after such an extended (70 yr) period of implementation. Runoff was greater within treatments with low soil fertility and least in high fertility treatments. The responses in this research demonstrate the consequences of a soil resource in decline; more runoff, less water for plant and crop production, increased soil resource depletion.

Technical Abstract: We measured overland flow from winter wheat/fallow fields on the Columbia Plateau. Overland flow originated from within field plots in a long-term experiment, begun in 1931 to examine the influence on soil fertility and crop production of nutrient amendments and crop residue management practices. Tillage in all treatments consisted of moldboard plowing and multiple passes with secondary tillage equipment to smooth the surface for planting and for weed control. The treatments we examined were combinations of nutrient amendments (0, 90 kg N/ha commercial fertilizer, and 145 kg N/ha from manure) and residue management (no-burn, spring-burn, and fall-burn). Our measurements are the first evaluation of these treatments, which represent a set of past and current cultural practices, on field hydrology after such an extended (70 yr) period of implementation. Lister furrows separated the plots of 12m x 40m (approx. 0.05 ha), to prevent overland flow from treatment to treatment and were instrumented with weirs to capture and measure overland flow. To determine if hydrologic differences existed between treatments, we tested the overland flow to precipitation (Q/P) ratio. The Q/P ratio was greater within treatments with low soil fertility whereas the high fertility treatment Q/P was similar to fallowed, standing stubble plots (P <0.15). The hydrologic responses in this research demonstrate the consequences of a soil resource in decline; more runoff, less water for plant and crop production, increased soil resource depletion.