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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 288-294
     
    Received: June 3, 1999


    * Corresponding author(s): adhalvor@lamar.colostate.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2000.922288x

Spring Wheat Response to Tillage System and Nitrogen Fertilization within a Crop–Fallow System

  1. Ardell D. Halvorson *a,
  2. Alfred L. Blackb,
  3. Joseph M. Krupinskyb,
  4. Steven D. Merrillb,
  5. Brian J. Wienholdc and
  6. Donald L. Tanakab
  1. a USDA-ARS, P.O. Box E, Fort Collins, CO 80522 USA
    b USDA-ARS, P.O. Box 459, Mandan, ND USA
    c USDA-ARS, 119 Keim Hall, East Campus, Univ. Nebraska, Lincoln, NE USA

Abstract

Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production in the northern Great Plains generally utilizes conventional tillage systems. A 12-yr study evaluated the effects of tillage system [conventional-till (CT), minimum-till (MT), and no-till (NT)], N fertilizer rate (0, 22, and 45 kg N ha−1), and cultivar (Butte86 and Stoa) on spring wheat grain yields in a dryland spring wheat–fallow rotation (SW–F). Butte86 yields with CT exceeded NT yields in five out of 12 years with 0 and 22 kg N ha−1 applied, and four years with 45 kg N ha−1 applied. Stoa yields with CT exceeded NT yields in three out of 12 years with no N applied, four years with 22 kg N ha−1 applied, and only one year with 45 kg N ha−1 applied. Yields with NT exceeded those with CT in one year. Most years, yields with MT equaled those with CT. Responses to N tended to be greatest in years when spring soil NO3–N was lowest. Positive yield responses to N fertilization with CT occurred in three years with Butte86 and two years with Stoa; with MT, four years with Butte86 and two years with Stoa; and with NT, five years with Butte86 and three years with Stoa. Cultivars were not consistent in their response to tillage and N fertilization. These results indicate that farmers in the northern Great Plains can successfully produce spring wheat in a SW–F system using MT and NT systems, but yields may be slightly reduced when compared with CT systems some years.

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