Walking Row Method of Tillage for Seed Production of Western Wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.)1
- James R. Stroh2
The effects of five tillage treatments on the seed production of western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii Rydb.) under irrigation were evaluated for a 4-year period at Bridger, Mont. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate a “walking row” method of tillage that would reduce sodbinding and maintain the plants in a vigorous growing condition.
The results showed the no-tillage treatment to be more practical than the walking row tillage. Allowing stands to grow solid (no cultivation) from 91-cm row spacings delayed sodbinding and produced the highest average yields over the 4-year period. Weed invasion and production costs were lowest under this treatment.
Rhizomes were allowed to grow between 91-cm spaced rows in the walking row treatment. After seed harvest the rows were mechanically removed and the rhizomes became the new rows for the next year's crop. This method maintained young plants for sustained high seed yields, but weed invasion and power requirements to walk the rows were high.
Maintaining original rows with fall, spring and fall, or spring cultivations hastened yield declines through forced sodbinding. Average 4-year yields were lowest for these three cultivation treatments.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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