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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Tillage Systems for Cotton on Silty Upland Soils


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 88 No. 4, p. 507-512
    Received: Sept 25, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s): gbtl@ra.msstate.edu
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  1. Glover B. Triplett Jr. ,
  2. Seth M. Dabney and
  3. James H. Siefker
  1. D ep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State Univ., Box 9555, Mississippi State, MS3 9762
    U SDA-ARNS, Natl. Sedimentation Lab., P.O. Box 1157, Oxford, MS 38655
    D ep. of Fruit and Vegetable Sciences, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853



No-tillage systems for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production on sloping, upland sites have not been widely adopted in the Mid-South of the USA, even though conventional cotton production creates a serious erosion hazard. A field study was established following sod on a site with loess soils to evaluate tillage system effect on cotton yield and earliness. The sod was tilled prior to establishment of treatments, which included conventional (chisel, disk, bed, cultivate), ridge till (remove ridge tops at planting, cultivate postemergencteo rebuild ridges), no-tillage [wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cover seeded following cotton harvest, killed prior to planting], and minimum tillage (one pass with a mulch finisher prior to planting, cultivate postemergence). During the first year of the study, no-tillage cotton yields were lower and maturity delayed compared with conventional tillage. During Years 3 to 5, no-tillage crop yields were 18 to 42% greater and crop maturity was 6 to 10 d earlier than conventional tillage. Minimum tillage yields were similar to conventional tillage while ridge tillage was lower in two of the last 3 yr of the study. Results of this study indicate viable no-tillage production systems for cotton can be developed for highly erosive loess soils in the Mid-South.

Joint contribution of the USDA-ARNS, Natl. Sedimentation Lab., Oxford, MS 38655, and the Miss. Agric. and For. Exp. Stn., Mississippi State, MS 39762. Approved for publication as Journal Article no. J-8799 of the Miss. Agric. and For. Exp. Sm., Miss. State U.

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