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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #160103


item Raper, Randy
item Schwab, Eric
item Balkcom, Kipling
item Reeves, Donald

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2004
Publication Date: 1/5/2004
Citation: Raper, R.L., E.B. Schwab, C.H. Burmester, D.W. Reeves, and K.S. Balkcom. Minimum subsoiling frequency for conservation systems in the Tennessee Valley. In: Richter, D.F., editor. Proceedings of the 2004 Beltwide Cotton Conference, January 5-9, 2004, San Antonio, Texas. p. 904-907.

Interpretive Summary: For optimum cotton yields in conservation systems, many soils in the Southeastern U.S. require deep tillage as a method of alleviating soil compaction. An experiment was conducted to determine if soils managed with conservation systems required annual deep tillage, or if this deep tillage event could be postponed to every two or three years. No difference in cotton yield was found between any of the tillage frequencies nor were there any differences found between several shanks tested. A trend did exist, however, that found slightly higher yields for annual tillage as compared to tillage every three years. Producers from the Tennessee Valley region who suspect soil compaction problems in their fields should adopt conservation systems which include cover crops. They should be able to use any of the tested shanks on an annual basis or every two years with equal success of optimizing cotton yields.

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 the Tennessee Valley Region of North Alabama to determine how frequently deep tillage is needed to alleviate soil compaction problems in these soils. Results over a two-year period that consisted of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) yields resulting from tillage three-years previous, two years previous, and one year previous found no differences in crop yield. No differences between four tillage implements were also found with all tillage treatments resulting in similar yields.