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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Water Quality and Ecology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376513

Research Project: Strategic Investigations to Improve Water Quality and Ecosystem Sustainability in Agricultural Landscapes

Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research

Title: Conservation Soybean Production Systems in the Mid-Southern USA: I. Transitioning from Conventional to Conservation Tillage

Author
item BRYANT, COREY - Mississippi State University
item KRUTZ, LARRY - Mississippi State University
item REYNOLDS, DANIEL - Mississippi State University
item Locke, Martin
item GOLDEN, BOBBY - Mississippi State University
item IRBY, TRENT - Mississippi State University
item Steinriede, Robert - Wade
item SPENCER, G - Mississippi State University
item MILLS, B - Mississippi State University
item WOOD, C - Growers Holdings, Inc

Submitted to: Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2020
Publication Date: 7/16/2020
Citation: Bryant, C.J., Krutz, L.J., Reynolds, D.B., Locke, M.A., Golden, B.R., Irby, T., Steinriede Jr, R.W., Spencer, G.D., Mills, B.E., Wood, C.W. 2020. Conservation Soybean Production Systems in the Mid-Southern USA: I. Transitioning from Conventional to Conservation Tillage. Crop, Forage & Turfgrass Management. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1002/cft2.20055.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/cft2.20055

Interpretive Summary: A factor reducing the adoption of conservation tillage on medium- to coarse-textured soils in the mid-southern USA is reduced yield due to the development of restrictive soil layers. Research was conducted to determine if the inclusion of subsoiling in conservation tillage systems would maintain crop yield, profitability, and water use efficiency (WUE) relative to that of conventional tillage. Inclusion of subsoiling as a component of a conservation tillage system maintained or improved soybean grain yield, net returns above specified costs, and WUE up to 68% in three of four years relative to conventional tillage or conservation tillage with no subsoiling. Our data indicate that including subsoiling as a component of conservation tillage systems would maximize soybean grain yield, net returns above specified costs, and WUE on medium- to coarse-textured soils in the mid-southern USA.

Technical Abstract: The adoption of production systems that leave greater than 30% residue coverage on the soil surface, i.e., conservation tillage, is limited in the mid-southern USA due to the development of a hardpan and subsequent yield reductions. This research was conducted to determine if the inclusion of subsoiling in conservation tillage systems can maintain yield and profitability relative to that of conventional tillage. The effects of surface and subsurface tillage on soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] grain yield, net returns above specified costs, and water use efficiency (WUE) were investigated near Stoneville, MS on a Dubbs silt loam (Fine-silty, mixed, active, thermic Typic Hapludalfs). Conservation tillage with subsoiling maintained or improved soybean grain yield, net returns above specified costs, and WUE up to 68% in three of four years (P = 0.0002). Conversely, conservation tillage alone either had no effect or decreased soybean grain yield up to 14%, decreased net returns above specified costs up to 20%, and decreased WUE up to 14% (P = 0.0002). Our data indicate that inclusion of subsoiling minimizes yield and net return declines commonly associated with conservation tillage systems and should be a component of the early soybean production system on medium- to coarse-textured soils.