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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 94 No. 2, p. 299-304
     
    Received: Feb 15, 2001


    * Corresponding author(s): wjc3@cornell.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2002.2990

Tillage and Rotation Effects on Soil Physical Characteristics

  1. Tawainga Katsvairo,
  2. William J. Cox * and
  3. Harold van Es
  1. Dep. of Crop and Soil Sci., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853

Abstract

Farmers are adopting different cropping systems, so our objective was to identify tillage × rotation interactions for soil physical characteristics in the sixth year of a tillage (moldboard plow, chisel, and ridge) × rotation {continuous corn (Zea mays L.), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]–corn and soybean–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)/clover (Trifolium pretense L.)–corn} study. Moldboard plow had lower penetration resistance (0.97 MPa) and bulk density (1.19 g cm−3) and greater infiltration (75 μm s−1) and porosity (−2.5 to −40 kPa soil water potential) compared with ridge tillage (1.39 MPa, 1.31 g cm−3, and 24 μm s−1, respectively) at the sixth leaf (V6) stage and greater infiltration (106 and 31 μm s−1, respectively) during early grain fill (R3) of corn. In ridge tillage, the interrow had lower penetration resistance (1.10 Mpa) and bulk density (1.28 g cm−3) and greater infiltration (35 μm s−1) vs. the row (1.68 MPa, 1.34 g cm−3, and 13 μm s−1, respectively) at V6 but greater penetration resistance (3.13 and 2.46 MPa, respectively) at R3. The soybean–wheat/clover–corn rotation had the greatest earthworm densities (504 m−2) and infiltration (68 μm s−1) among rotations at V6. Earthworm densities and infiltration explained about 25% of corn yield variability, which may have contributed in part to the 15 to 40% yield advantage for corn in the soybean–wheat/clover–corn rotation in moldboard plow. Tillage × rotation interactions did not exist for soil physical characteristics, so 5-yr tillage effects would be consistent across rotations.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.94:299–304.