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Agronomy Journal Abstract - SOIL MANAGEMENT

Tillage and Management Alternatives for Returning Conservation Reserve Program Land to Crops


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 93 No. 4, p. 850-862
    Received: Jan 5, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): cshapiro@unl.edu
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  1. Charles A. Shapiro *a,
  2. David L. Holshouserb,
  3. William L. Kranzc,
  4. David P. Sheltonc,
  5. John F. Witkowskic,
  6. Keith J. Jarvic,
  7. Gerald W. Echtenkampa,
  8. Lisa A. Lunza,
  9. Robert D. Frerichsa,
  10. Ray L. Brentlingera,
  11. Mari A. Lubberstedta,
  12. Melinda McVey McCluskeyd and
  13. Walter W. Stroupe
  1. a Haskell Agric. Lab., Univ. of Nebraska, 57905 866 Rd., Concord, NE 68728-2828
    b Virginia Tech, Tidewater Agric. Res. and Ext. Cent., 6321 Holland Rd., Suffolk, VA 23437
    c Northeast Res. and Ext. Cent., Univ. of Nebraska, 601 East Benjamin Avenue, Suite 104, Norfolk, NE 68701-0812
    d Northeast Community College, East Benjamin Ave., Norfolk, NE 68701
    e Dep. of Biometry, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583


Accumulated vegetative residue was a concern when Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land returned to grain crop production. This study was conducted to determine the effect of residue management, tillage, and crop choice on grain yield in the first year of cropping on CRP land that was predominately smooth brome (Bromis inermis Leyss). Three residue management practices (undisturbed, shred, and remove), three tillage systems [moldboard plow, disk, and no till], and three crops {corn (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]} were used in a factorial arrangement of a 3-yr field experiment conducted in Nebraska on fine-silty, mixed, mesic Udic Haplustoll; fine-silty, mixed (calcareous), mesic Typic Ustorthent; and fine-silty, mixed, mesic Cumolic Halustoll soils. Residue management was not significant for corn (P > F = 0.16), sorghum (P > F = 0.113), and soybean (P > F = 0.491) although there were significant residue × tillage interactions. Tillage system was not significant (P > F = 0.125) for soybean yields, but plowing significantly (P > F = 0.0001) increased both corn and sorghum yields. Mean corn yields were 13% less for the no-till system than for the moldboard plow system. However, no-till corn yield differences were not significant (P > F = 0.255) when plant population (a possible measure of planter performance) and percent green rating (a measure of weed control) were included as covariates. Our recommendation for the first year of grain crop production on smooth brome CRP land is to shred the residue and plant soybean in a no-till system.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.93:850–862.