|JONES O R|
Submitted to: Sorghum Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The effects of no-tillage (NT) and stubblemulch tillage (SM) on water conservation, grain production, and economics were compared for nine years at Bushland, TX, for continuous wheat (CW), wheat-fallow (WF), wheat- sorghum-fallow (WSF), and continuous sorghum (CS) cropping systems. No-tillage management of wheat residues increased soil water contents and grain yields. With NT, the soil water profile 4 months after wheat harves contained 1.4 inches more plant available water than with SM tillage. No-tillage management of sorghum residues were not as effective as NT management of wheat residues in storing moisture and reducing evaporation; however, in no instance were soil water profile contents with NT less than contents measured on stubblemulch. Keeping all residues on the surface reduced evaporation and improved water conservation. Cropping systems with sorghum (CS, WSF) had highest grain production, used water more efficiently, and had much greater returns/acre than wheat only systems. Continuous wheat and wheat-fallow systems were not economical systems for grain production in our analyses. Income from grazing would be required for CW and WF to be viable production systems. Our research shows that with WSF and WF rotations, herbicides can be used economically to manage residues, reduce erosion, reduce evaporation, and improve soil and water conservation.