Effect of Seedbed Configuration and Cotton Bur Mulch on Lint Cotton Yield, Soil Water, and Water Use1
- Paul T. Koshi and
- Donald W. Fryrear2
Better management techniques and planting schemes are needed for the dryland agriculture of the Southern High Plains of the U.S. To test various possibilities cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was grown on three seedbed configurations (flat, ridge, and furrow) with four mulch rates (0.0, 5.6, 11.2, and 22.4 tons/ha of cotton bur mulch). Soil water was measured to a depth of 300 cm by the neutron method.
Preseason soil water storage (mid-January to mid-June) was highest for the 22.4 tons/ha mulch and least for no mulch. Precipitation storage efficiencies were 46, 68, and 80% from 34.0 cm of precipitation in 1968 and 36, 47, and 66% from 33.4 cm of precipitation in 1969 for the 0.0, 11.2, and 22.4 tons/ha mulch rates, respectively.
The furrow plots had the highest accretion, and ridge plots, the least in 1968. During the 1969 season, accretion was highest in the furrow and similar in the flat and ridge plots.
The 1968 soil water accretion and depletion showed the same relationship and similar quantities for the three mulch rates and seedbed configurations. Because of excessive precipitation at the end of the 1969 growing season, less depletion than accretion occurred from the two higher mulch rates.
In 1967 cotton yields were similar in the 0.0 and 5.6 mulch subplots but were less than on the 11.2 and 22.4 tons/ha mulch subplots. In 1968 and 1969 yields were similar for the 11.2 and 22.4 subplots, but were significantly more than either the 0.0 or 5.6 tons/ha mulch subplots. More cotton was produced as a result of 5.6 tons/ha mulch than no mulch in 1968 and 1969 after two and three successive annual applications of mulch.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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