Location: Crop Improvement and Protection ResearchTitle: No-tillage sorghum yields match, and garbanzo yields match or exceed standard tillage: A case for no-tillage in California
|MITCHELL, JEFFREY - University Of California - Cooperative Extension Service|
|SHRESTHA, A - California State University|
|EPSTEIN, L - University Of California|
|DAHLBERG, J - University Of California Agriculture And Natural Resources (UCANR)|
|GHEZZEHEI, T - University Of California|
|ARAYA, S - University Of California|
|RICHTER, B - Non ARS Employee|
|KAUR, SUKHWINDER - University Of California|
|MUNK, D - University Of California - Cooperative Extension Service|
|LIGHT, S - University Of California - Cooperative Extension Service|
|BOTTENS, M - Non ARS Employee|
|ZACCARIA, DANIELE - University Of California|
Submitted to: California Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2021
Publication Date: 1/7/2022
Citation: Mitchell, J.P., Shrestha, A., Epstein, L., Dahlberg, J.A., Ghezzehei, T., Araya, S., Richter, B., Kaur, S., Henry, P.M., Munk, D.S., Light, S., Bottens, M., Zaccaria, D. 2022. No-tillage sorghum yields match, and garbanzo yields match or exceed standard tillage: A case for no-tillage in California. California Agriculture. 75(3):112-120. https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.2021a0017.
Interpretive Summary: Before planting a crop, farmers typically mix and aerate the soil in a practice called “tillage”. While beneficial for plant establishment, tillage can lead to erosion and decrease water retention in soil. An alternative to standard tillage practices is called “no-till”, where shallow tillage is only conducted in strips where the seeds are sown. We investigated the impacts of “no-till” methods on the yield of sorghum and garbanzo in cropping systems with and without cover crops in the off-seasons. Garbanzo yields were equivalent or better in no-till systems than standard tillage. There was not a significant difference in the yield of sorghum grown in no-till and standard tillage systems. Our results indicate that “no-till” cropping systems could be economically viable for production in the Central Valley.
Technical Abstract: Farming with “no-till” or methods for reduced soil disturbance is known to increase crop water use efficiency, an important issue in California. We evaluated no-till methods for two crops, garbanzo and sorghum, with and without cover crops, for four years. Sorghum yields were similar in no-till and standard tillage systems, while garbanzo yields matched or exceeded no-till than in standard tillage, depending on the year.