Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2003
Publication Date: 10/27/2003
Citation: Siri-Prieto, G.C., Reeves, D.W., Raper, R.L. 2003. Tillage system impacts on cotton productivity and soil water following winter annual grazing in the coastal plain [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Meetings.
Technical Abstract: Integrating livestock with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) offers income for producers, but could result in excessive soil compaction and yield reductions. We began a study on a Dothan fine sandy loam (Plinthic Paleudults) to develop a conservation tillage system for integration of winter grazing with cotton. Winter pasture [oat (Avena sativa L.) and ryegrass (Lolium mutiflorum L.)] and tillage were evaluated in a strip plot design with four replications. Tillage systems included: moldboard, chisel and disk; and non-inversion deep tillage (none, in-row subsoiling, or paratilling) with and without disking. We evaluated cone index, soil water content, and cotton yield. Soil compaction was affected by grazing to 10-cm depth, but tillage (conventional or deep tillage) reduced compaction and increased soil water removal by cotton compared to strict no-tillage. Strict no-tillage decreased water removal 7% less than the mean. Strict no-tillage resulted in the lowest yields (18% less than the mean) and non-inversion deep tillage was necessary to maximize water use and yields with no-tillage in both pastures. Paratilling resulted in better yield following ryegrass but in-row subsoiling proved best after oat. Integrating winter grazing with cotton can be achieved using non-inversion deep tillage in a conservation tillage system, providing producers extra income while protecting the soil resource.