Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Khalilian, A., Jones, M., Sullivan, M., Frederick, J., Bauer, P.J., Busscher, W.J. 2004. Comparison of strip tillage systems in coastal plain soils for cotton production. In: Proceedings of the 2004 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 5-9, 2004, San Antonio, Texas. p. 803-810.
Technical Abstract: Soil compaction management in the southeastern U.S. relies heavily on the use of annual deep tillage. This research was conducted to evaluate the performance of three different strip tillage systems compared to conventional and no-till methods in terms of effects on soil parameters, crop responses, and energy requirements; and to investigate the feasibility of eliminating the need for annual deep tillage by planting cotton directly into the previous years subsoiler furrow and controlling traffic. Replicated field experiments were conducted during the 2002 and 2003 growing seasons at Clemson University's Edisto and Pee Dee Research & Education Centers. Tillage treatments included: conventional tillage, straight shank strip-till, bent-leg shank strip-till (Paratill), bent-leg shank strip till (Terra Max), and no-till. At Blackville, the treatments were compared side by side with and without irrigation. In 2003, the test plots from previous year were split in half to determine the residual effects of different tillage systems. No deep tillage was applied to one-half of the plot while the other half received the same tillage treatment as in 2002. At Edisto, deep tillage significantly reduced soil compaction in crop rows compared to no-till. Deep tillage significantly increased lint yields compared to no-till. In 2002, the yield increases were 15% and 26% for irrigated and dry land plots, respectively. There was no difference in lint yield between plots which had deep tillage operation in 2002 & 2003 and those which had tillage operation only in 2002. On average, deep tillage (either in 2002 or 2003) increased lint yield by 41.5% compared to no-till system. At the Pee Dee location, tillage systems had no effect on flower development or nutrient uptake throughout the growing season or on lint yield and fiber quality at the end of the season.