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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Raper, Randy
item Reeves, Donald
item Shaw, J
item Van Santen, E
item Mask, P
item Grift, Tony

Submitted to: 2003 Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2003
Publication Date: 1/7/2003
Citation: Raper, R.L., Reeves, D.W., Shaw, J., Van Santen, E., Mask, P., Grift, T.E. 2003. Effect of site-specific tillage on draft requirements and cotton yield. Proceedings of the 2003 Beltwide Cotton Conference. Nashville, TN, Jan. 7-11. 5 pp.

Interpretive Summary: For optimum yields, many soils in the Southeastern U.S. still require deep tillage as a method of alleviating soil compaction. However, this tillage event can be costly. An experiment was conducted to determine if mapping the layer of soil compaction and then delivering tillage to the exact depth of soil compaction would reduce tillage power requirements while maintaining cotton yields. Results showed that tillage power was reduced significantly by the site-specific tillage system while cotton yields were similar for the two tillage treatments. Continued development of technology and equipment necessary for site-specific tillage could contribute to a more energy efficient food production system.

Technical Abstract: For those soils that require deep tillage to alleviate soil compaction, subsoiling can be an expensive and time-consuming tillage event. Alternative tillage methods are needed which conserve natural resources without sacrificing cotton yields. An experiment was conducted in a field in Southern Alabama prone to soil compaction for three years to evaluate whether the concept of site-specific tillage (tilling just deep enough to eliminate the hardpan layer) would reduce tillage energy requirements and/or reduce cotton yields. Average cotton yields over this three-year period showed that site-specific tillage produced yields equivalent to those produced by the uniform deep tillage treatment while requiring 27% less tillage power.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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