Corn Yield is Equal in Conventional, Reduced, and No Tillage after 20 Years
- George Kapusta,
- Ronald F Krausz and
- Joseph L. Matthews
Reduced tillage has increased dramatically over the past several years and is expected to continue to increase in the future. Continuous no-till may become a popular tillage system with growers to facilitate compliance with government programs to control soil erosion. The objective of this research was to evaluate the long-term effects of four tillage systems and five fertilizer regimes on corn (Zea mays L.) yield. A 20-yr continuous-corn tillage ✕ fertility study was conducted from 1970 to 1990 on an Ebbert silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, niesic Argiaquic Argialbolls), an imperfectly drained soil at the Belleville Research Center, Belleville, IL. Starter fertilizer did not increase corn height within a tillage system. Height was greater in no-till compared with conventional till (moldboard plow), reduced till (chisel plow), or alternate till (2 yr no-till, 1 yr moldboard plow) with or without a starter fertilizer. There was no difference in population among tillage systems due to fertilizer treatment. Corn population was lower in no-till compared with conventional till regardless of fertilizer treatment. Starter fertilizer did not increase yield in any tillage system. Corn yield averaged 5 to 7% lower in no-till compared with conventional till or reduced till where a starter fertilizer was applied. There was no difference in yield among tillage systems when NPK was broadcast. Corn yield was equal in conventional till, alternate till, reduced till, and no-till with fertilizer applied broadcast on an imperfectly drained soil. Continuous no-till with an imperfectly drained soil does not reduce corn yield.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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