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Fall contour ripping increases water infiltration into frozen soil

Pikul, J.L. and Aase, J.K. (1998) Fall contour ripping increases water infiltration into frozen soil. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 62:1017-1024.

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Crop residue management to trap snow and soil management to
improve water infiltration into frozen soil might reduce spring runoff
and increase soil water storage. We hypothesized that soil macropores
created by tillage would improve water infiltration when the soil was
frozen. This hypothesis was tested by ripping a Dooley sandy loam
(fine-loamy, mixed Typic Argiboroll) in the fall of the year and then
measuring water infiltration when the soil was frozen. A single subsoiling
shank was used to rip soil to a depth of 0.3 m at 6-m contour
intervals. Ripping was compared with no ripping using a randomized
experimental design having three replications. Studies were conducted
during 4 yr near Culbertson, MT, on plots seeded annually to spring
wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Soil water was measured with neutron
attenuation and gravimetric methods. We used a constant-head (100
mm) method to measure water infiltration into frozen soil and a
rainfall simulator for unfrozen soil. Final infiltration rate on frozen,
ripped soil averaged 16 vs. 2 mm h-1 without ripping. Final unfrozen
infiltration rate in spring was 34 mm h-1 with ripping vs. 15 mm h-1
without ripping. Average spring water content of the top 1.2 m of
soil, to a distance 1.5 m downslope from a rip, was 32 mm greater
with ripping than without ripping at comparable slope positions. There
were no wheat yield differences between treatments. Contour ripping
can decrease water runoff, and seems best suited where spring runoff
and soil erosion caused by heavy winter snows is a problem.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 0967
Subjects: Irrigation > Furrow irrigation > Infiltration
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:54
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 16:21
Item ID: 698