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Crop and Soil Response to Long-Term Tillage Practices in the Northern Great Plains

Aase, J. Kristian and Pikul Jr, Joseph L. (1995) Crop and Soil Response to Long-Term Tillage Practices in the Northern Great Plains. Agronomy Journal. 87(4):652-656.

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Summer fallow is the most common cultural practice in the northern
Great Plains. With proper cultural management, however, annual cropping
may be feasible and economical. Our objective was to determine
crop and soil response to nontraditional annual cropping practices (till
and no-till) in lieu of conventional fallow-crop rotation for the production
of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare
L.) in the northern Great Plains. The study, initiated in 1983, was
on a Dooley sandy loam (fine-loamy, mixed Typic Argiboroll) 11 km
north of Culbertson, MT. Tillage practices on annually cropped treatments
included sweep tillage in autumn and disk tillage in spring; sweep
tillage in spring; and no-tillage. Conventional fallow-spring wheat rotations
were included as the control. With three exceptions, there were
no statistical differences among treatments in soil P, soil nitrate N, and
pH. Phosphorus and N were nonlimiting in all years; pH decreased about
0.06 units per year in the 0- to 8-cm layer because of N fertilization.
Bulk density differences in the 0- to 10-cm layer appeared after 7 yr,
with the lowest bulk density for the no-tillage annual crop treatment.
Grain and straw yields with the no-tillage treatment were both 80%
of yields with the fallow-crop treatment. Total water use efficiency, based
on soil water differences between harvest of one crop and harvest of
the next, was significantly greater with no-tillage than with the fallow-crop
treatment. Soil organic C decreased nearly 0.4 g kg I per year with
the fallow-crop treatment; there was a negligible decline with the no-tillage
annual crop treatment. No-tillage annual spring wheat crop production
was the most efficient crop and soil management practice from
the standpoint of yield, water use efficiency, soil organic C, and bulk

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0879
Subjects: Soil > Tillage
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:54
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 18:32
Item ID: 646