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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

No-Tillage Intercropped Corn Production in Tall Fescue Sod as Affected by Sod-Control and Nitrogen Fertilization1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 4, p. 685-690
    Received: May 27, 1986

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  1. S. R. Wilkinson,
  2. O. J. Devine,
  3. D. P. Belesky,
  4. J. W. Dobson Jr. and
  5. R. N. Dawson2



Conservation tillage methods are needed for grain production on the sloping, erodible soils of the southern Appalachian mountains. The purpose of this study was to determine rainfed no-till corn (Zea mays L.) production in viable tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) sods relative to conventional tillage and complete kill no-tillage systems. Main plot treatments were: (i) conventional tillage of fescue sod in the first year followed by no-till planted rye in the second and third years (CT); (ii) no-till planting in completely killed tall fescue, then in killed no-till planted rye (NT100); (iii) no-till planting in a 0.41-m wide killed strip of tall fescue (NT40); and (iv) no-till planting in a 0.20-m wide killed strip of tall fescue (NT20). Subplot treatments consisted of 145 or 290 kg N ha−1yr−1. Adequacy of mineral nutrition for corn was evaluated by plant analysis. The experiment was conducted on a Tate loam soil (fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludult) with a 5 to 15% slope. No-till corn production (NT100) was highly successful at both N levels and yielded comparable to conventional tillage. Winter-spring forage production was comparable whether the forage was no-till planted rye or the remaining viable tall fescue. Competitive effects of a corn crop at 290 kg N ha−1 resulted in less summer forage for fall utilization. NTN resulted in slightly reduced corn and forage production and soil erosion control at 290 kg N ha−1lyr−1. Competition for water, N, and K limited the effectiveness of the NT20 treatment for no-till corn production under southern Appalachian conditions.

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