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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Double Cropping Systems Involving No-Tillage and Conventional Tillage1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 65 No. 6, p. 978-982
    Received: May 1, 1973

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  1. J. O. Sanford,
  2. D. L. Myhre and
  3. Norman C. Merwine2



This study was prompted by the huge feed grain deficits which increase annually in the Southeast. The need exists to find ways of increasing grain production efficiently. Cropping-tillage systems designed to accomplish this were studied. Soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench.] were double cropped following wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) on a Blackbelt soil. No-tillage and conventional tillage methods were compared for soybeans and grain sorghum; Conventional tillage was used for wheat.

The 2-year average yield of soybeans was 1,708 kg/ha (25.4 bu/acre) for no-tillage and 2,250 kg/ha (33.4 acre) for conventional tillage. This difference was significant (P = .05) and was due mainly to lack of nutsedge (Cyperus sp.) control by herbicide alone in no-tillage plots. In the third year when the crop was hand-hoed, no yield differences occurred due to tillage methods. The 2-year average yield of grain sorghum was 3,249 kg/ha (48.3 bu/acre) for no-tillage and 3,868 kg/ha (57.5 bu/acre) for conventional tillage. When the crop was handhoed yield of grain sorghum was significantly higher for no-tillage (5,072 vs 4.335 kg/ha). Wheat grown after soybeans yielded significantly (P = .05) more than wheat grown after grain sorghum. This difference was attributed primarily to the bneficial effect of residual N from the previous crop of soybeans.

Based on current costs and prices, the soybean-wheat double cropping system produced significantly higher net returns over specified production costs than the wheat. grain sorghum system.

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