No-Tillage of Grain Sorghum on a Shrinking Clay Soil1
- Thomas J. Gerik and
- John E. Morrison2
Conservation tillage systems, such as no-tillage, have shown tremendous potential for controlling erosion, yet results in crop growth and yield have varied with location, environment, and soil type. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) on growth and development of grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) grown on a heavy clay soil in a humid, subtropical climate. The study was conducted over a 2-year period on an Austin silty clay (fine-silty, carbonatic, thermic Entic Haplustolls) with grain sorghum grown in rotation with winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Grain sorghum yields did not differ significantly between NT and CT. Soil water contents were not significantly different between the tillage treatments, but there were consistent trends toward more soil water under NT throughout sorghum development each year. The tillage treatments did not have a major effect on soil temperature. Reductions in the leaf area index at panicle initiation noted under the NT treatment, however, were not reflected in differences in grain yield. Therefore, no-tillage may become an attractive management alternative for areas with similar soil and climatic conditions.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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