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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Soil Tillage, Conservation & Management

Cotton Production as Affected by Irrigation Level and Transitioning Tillage Systems


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 104 No. 4, p. 991-995
    Received: Dec 22, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): pbdelaune@ag.tamu.edu
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  1. P. B. DeLaune *a,
  2. J. W. Sija,
  3. S. C. Parka and
  4. L. J. Krutzb
  1. a Texas AgriLife Research at Vernon, P.O Box 1658, Vernon TX 76385
    b USDA-ARS, Crop Production Systems Research Unit, P.O. Box 350, Stoneville, MS 38776; current address: Mississippi State Univ., Delta Research and Extension Center, P.O. Box 197, Stoneville, MS 38776


Identifying management practices that conserve and protect water resources are very important to a wide variety of stakeholders within semiarid environments. The objective of this study was to develop water management strategies for transitioning tillage systems in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production within the Texas Rolling Plains when in a subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system. Five irrigation regimes (0, 33, 66, 100, and 133% evapotranspiration [ET] replacement) and four tillage systems (conventional till, reduced till, no-till, and no-till with a terminated cover crop) were evaluated. The study was conducted for 3 yr and treatments were replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Lint yields were not affected by the main effects of tillage or the interaction of tillage and ET replacement. In contrast ET replacement was a significant factor for lint yields, irrigation water use efficiency, and net returns. Greatest lint yields and net returns were achieved at 100% ET replacement. Fitted models indicated that optimum lint yields and net returns were achieved at 104.5% ET and 102% ET, respectively. Irrigation at 83% ET was within the 95% confidence interval for lint yield. Net returns were significantly higher for no-till systems compared with conventional till. Thus, adoption of conservation tillage systems should not negatively affect lint yield or net returns in deficit irrigated SDI cotton systems within the Texas Rolling Plains, particularly during the transition from intensively tilled systems to conservation tilled systems.

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