Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Tillage practices for cotton production, including no-tillage with a wheat cover crop and conventional, were evaluated over a five year period on a highly erosive wind transported soil in northern Mississippi. During the first year, yields for the conventional system were greater and matured earlier than no-tillage. During years 3 through 5, no-tillage yields were 18 to 42 percent greater and maturity was 6 to 10 days earlier than conventional. Since no-tillage reduces soil loss by as much as 90% compared to conventional systems, this means that producers can grow cotton, a high value cash crop, on many upland sites without creating an unacceptable erosion hazard. This will benefit producers by increasing their choice of enterprises, the environment by decreasing off-site soil movement, and help sustain productivity of the land. This research also has applications in conversion of Conservation Reserve acreage to annual cropping
Technical Abstract: A tillage study for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was established following sod on a site with loess soils. The sod was tilled prior to establishment of treatments which included conventional (chisel, disk, bed, cultivate), ridge till (remove ridge tops at planting, cultivate postemergence to rebuild ridges), no-tillage [wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cover seeded following harvest, killed prior to planting], and minimum tillage (one pass with a mulch finisher prior to planting, cultivate postemergence). During the first year of the study, no-tillage cotton yields were lower and maturity delayed compared to yields of cotton grown on conventionally tilled soil. During years three to five, no- tillage crop yields were 18 to 42 percent greater than conventional tillage and crop maturity was 6 to 10 days earlier than conventional. Results of this study indicate viable no- tillage production systems for cotton can be developed for highly erosive loess soils in the mid-south.