Submitted to: Proceedings of American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/11/2005
Publication Date: 7/17/2005
Citation: Cullum, R.F., Wilson, G.V., Mcgregor, K.C., Johnson, J.R. 2005. Ultra narrow-row cotton for erosion control in silt loam soils. Proceedings of American Society of Agricultural Engineers. CD-ROM. Interpretive Summary: Ridged standard row cotton production produces little ground cover resulting in highly erosive lands. Reducing row spacing in cotton provided more residues resulting in reduced soil erosion. Low soil loss ratios computed for use in soil loss prediction reflected the erosion control potential of non-ridged, no-till, ultra narrow-row cotton. Ultra narrow-row, non-ridged cotton conventional-tilled with hedges as well as no-till with and without hedges controlled annual soil losses to less than the tolerance value of 7 t/ha during the 1999-2002 crop years. These results will be useful to extension personnel, action agencies involved in water quality planning, and to farmers who plan to control erosion to produce future cotton crops on these same lands.
Technical Abstract: Grass hedges and no-till cropping systems reduced soil losses on standard erosion plots in ultra narrow-row cotton during a four-year study (1999-2002). No-till cotton with grass hedges, no-till cotton without grass hedges, conventional-till cotton with grass hedges, and conventional-till cotton without grass hedges produced four-year average annual soil losses of 1.8, 2.9, 4.0, and 30.8 t/ha, respectively, and produced four-year average runoff amounts of 226, 364, 338, and 738 mm, respectively. The annual ratio of soil loss for no-till ultra narrow-row cotton plots with grass hedges to those without hedges averaged 0.62. The annual ratio of soil loss for conventional-till plots with grass hedges to without hedges was 0.13. Averaged over all plots (with and without grass hedges), no-till plots reduced soil loss from conventional-till plots by 86%. No-till plots without grass hedges had 90% less soil loss than conventional-till plots without grass hedges. Grass hedges effectively reduced soil loss on erosion plots with similar cropping practices as compared to plots without hedges.