Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Differences in crop residue quality can impact the amount of soil water storage in semi-arid no-till systems of the West Central Great Plains. Using a stripper header as opposed to a conventional-reel type header to harvest small grains impacts the quality of the crop residue left in the field. Primarily with a stripper header the residue height and the integrity of the standing residue is greater. Because water is always at a deficit in this region of the US Great Plains, this causes a difference in soil water storage during the non-cropped portions of the year. That difference in soil water storage impacts crop yields. Here we will present crop yields and soil water measurements from a 7-year study of focused on quantifying the value of stripper header management versus conventional- header management. The data was collected from a 4-year, no-till managed rotation of wheat-sorghum-millet fallow. All phases of the four year rotation were present each year and all plots were replicated 8 times. Four replications were managed using a stripper header and four replications were managed with a conventional header. In this experiment over a 5 year period, the average increase in grain yields with the stripper header averaged 336 kg ha-1 more grain which corresponds to a 11% increase in yield just from stubble management. The increase was mostly due to increases in measured soil water storage with the stripper header managed plots.