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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #389273

Research Project: Conservation Systems to Improve Production Efficiency, Reduce Risk, and Promote Sustainability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Tillage and nitrogen interactions for wheat following corn

item Balkcom, Kipling

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2021
Publication Date: 11/15/2021
Citation: Balkcom, K. S. 2021. Tillage and nitrogen interactions for wheat following corn [abstract]. ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Corn residue typically produces significant surface residue, which can require intensive tillage methods and increased N fertilizer rates to optimize subsequent wheat (Triticum aestivum, L.) production. A split plot treatment restriction in a randomized complete block design with three blocks was used to evaluate different surface tillage levels and N fertilizer combinations for wheat production following corn (Zea mays, L.) over four years on a Decatur silt loam (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Rhodic Paleudult) in northern Alabama. Tillage treatments (conventional, light disk, mulch tillage, no tillage) were the main plots and combinations of fall and spring N rates applied as urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) 28% solution were the subplots. Early season growth (tiller numbers, tiller N concentration, and tiller biomass), measured at Feekes 4, was evaluated along with wheat yields. Tiller numbers and percent N were not affected by tillage system, but no tillage tillers weighed 25% less than the other tillage systems. Fall applied N produced 9% greater tiller numbers and 18% greater tiller biomass weights. An interaction between tillage and N treatments indicated differences among tillage systems within N treatments. No tillage yields were lower overall across N treatments and significantly lower following the split 67 kg N ha-1 rate and the 101 kg N ha-1, regardless of N timing compared to conventional and mulch tillage. These results indicate that some form of surface tillage and the 134 kg N ha-1 rate was required to maximize wheat yields after corn.