Submitted to: Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2002
Publication Date: 6/25/2002
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Schomberg, H.H., Endale, D.M., Sharpe, R.R., Jenkins, M. 2002. Impact of deep ripping of previous no-tillage cropland on surface soil properties. Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture.
Interpretive Summary: None.
Technical Abstract: The use of continuous no-tillage cropping raises concern about water and nutrient movement into subsoil due to high soil bulk density. Deep ripping (i.e., paraplowing) might be a conservation strategy to loosen surface and subsoil without excessive incorporation of surface crop residues. We initiated a multi-year study comprised of four water catchments (3.1-6.7 acres each) that had previously been under continuous no-tillage cropping for at least 10 years. Two of the water catchments were paraplowed each autumn, but managed otherwise with conservation tillage, similar to the two remaining water catchments. Soil-surface properties were evaluated during the first and second year of the study. Soil bulk density of the surface 20 cm was significantly lower under paraplowing (1.37 g/cc) than under no tillage (1.51 g/cc). Soil organic C was significantly greater under paraplowing (10.4 mg/g) than under no tillage (8.7 mg/g). As the standing stock of total organic C in residue and soil to a depth of 20 cm, there was no difference between tillage systems in either year. We conclude from these early years of the study that annual paraplowing in combination with conservation tillage management had few negative impacts on soil-surface chemical properties.