Submitted to: World Congress of Soil Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2006
Publication Date: 7/9/2006
Citation: Omonode, R.A., Gal, A., Stott, D.E., Abney, T.S., Vyn, T.J. 2006. Intermittent chisel tillage effects on soil organic carbon and total nitrogen relative to continuous no-till and chisel plow systems. World Congress of Soil Science. 2006 CDROM.
Technical Abstract: For various reasons, North American crop farmers are more likely to practice limited-duration no-till than continuous no-till. Little is known about effects of short-term no-till on organic carbon (C) and total nitrogen (N) relative to continuous no-till and conventional-till systems. A field experiment was initiated in 1980 to study the effects of continuous no-till (NT), continuous chisel plow (CP), and moldboard plow in continuous corn and soybean-corn rotations on dark prairie soil. In 1996, the moldboard treatments were split into a short-term no-till (ST-NT) subplot and an intermittently chisel-plowed (STI-CP) subplot that was chiseled only before corn. In 2003, soil samples were taken incrementally to 1.0 m depth from NT, CP, ST-NT and STI-CP plots. Soil C and N accumulation was unaffected by rotation system at any depth interval. Tillage treatments significantly affected soil C and N concentrations only in the upper 50 cm. On an equivalent soil mass basis, C storage to 1.0 m after 24 years totaled 151 Mg ha-1 in continuous NT, but just 108 Mg ha-1 in continuous CP. ST-NT and STI-CP systems resulted in 26 and 21 Mg ha-1, respectively, more soil C than CP. Total N storage was similar for NT and ST-NT systems, but was significantly lower (4 Mg ha-1 less) with CP. Our results suggest that the combination of moldboard plowing (17 years) followed by short-term (6-7 year) no-till or intermittent chisel was generally superior to continuous chisel plowing (24 years) in soil C and N contents. [GRACEnet Publication]