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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Jonesboro, Arkansas » Delta Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338393

Research Project: Preserving Water Quality and Availability for Agriculture in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

Location: Delta Water Management Research

Title: Irrigation and cultivar effects in no-till, cover crop, and conventional tillage systems in Arkansas Cotton.

Author
item Mann, Amanda - University Of Arkansas
item Reba, Michele
item Teague, Tina - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: A field experiment was conducted in association with a tillage study established in the fall of 2007 at the Judd Hill Foundation Research Farm in Northeast Arkansas. The objective of this long-term study is to assess what impacts conservation tillage has on the field crop and the environment. The 2016 study evaluated the performance of three plant varieties with and without irrigation in the established no-till, cover crop/low till, and conventional tillage systems. Cultivars were selected based on characteristics which would affect the resistance of the plant to the insect pest tarnished plant bug. Season-long monitoring of soil moisture, insect pest densities, and plant monitoring was included as well as evaluation of sustainability using the Fieldprint Calculator Tool. Soil moisture measurements generally showed consistently high availability of soil water in the no-till treatments. We observed that neither irrigation nor tillage affected tolerance/susceptibility to insect pests. Differences in yield were related to both cultivar and tillage system. Sustainability indices for tillage and irrigation treatments, determined with the Fieldprint Calculator Tool, were improved with rainfed and conservation tillage practices. Understanding how the growing environment and production practices interact will help to promote use of practices that will improve overall cotton performance and sustainability. The experiment will be repeated in 2017 with expanded evaluation of yield stability as a part of the long term tillage study at the Judd Hill Foundation Farm.

Technical Abstract: This field experiment was conducted in association with a long term tillage study established in fall 2007 at the Judd Hill Foundation Research Farm in Northeast Arkansas to assess agronomic and environmental impacts of conservation tillage systems. In component studies in 2016 we evaluated performance of three cultivars with and without supplemental irrigation in the established no-till, cover crop/low till, and conventional tillage systems. Cultivars, selected based on maturity, host plant resistance (HPR) ratings, and levels of leaf pubescence and trichome density. Stoneville 4946, Stoneville 5289, and Stoneville 6182 with high, medium, and low rankings for HPR to tarnished plant bug, respectively. Season-long monitoring of soil moisture, insect pest densities, and plant monitoring was included as well as evaluation of sustainability using the FieldPrint Calculator. We observed that neither irrigation nor tillage affected tolerance/susceptibility to insect pests. First position square shed were low for all treatments. Highest yields were associated with conventional practices with highest overall yields associated with irrigated Stoneville 4946. Stoneville 5289 performed best in cover crop system. Later maturing Stoneville 6182 typically had lowest yield in all systems, particularly with irrigation in the no-till system.