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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 98 No. 3, p. 430-435
     
    Received: Feb 13, 2005
    Published: May, 2006


    * Corresponding author(s): gjschw2@uky.edu
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doi:10.2134/agronj2005.0050

Tillage and Phosphorus Management Effects on Crop Production in Soils with Phosphorus Stratification

  1. Gregory J. Schwab *a,
  2. David A. Whitneyb,
  3. Gary L. Kilgoreb and
  4. Daniel W. Sweeneyc
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Kentucky, N-122 Agricultural Science Bldg.-North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Kansas State Univ., 2004 Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Manhattan, KS 66506
    c Southeast Agricultural Research Center, Kansas State Univ., Box 316, Parsons, KS 67357

Abstract

Reduced- and no-tillage seedbed preparation methods coupled with broadcast P applications lead to an accumulation of available P in the surface 0- to 5-cm soil layer and a depletion of available P deeper in the profile. A 3-yr study determined the effects of tillage and fertilizer P management on P uptake and grain yield for P-stratified soils. Tillage practices were moldboard plow (once at the start of the study followed by reduced tillage), reduced tillage (disk followed by field cultivation), and no-tillage. Four P management methods were imposed: (i) no P; (ii) 20 kg P ha−1 applied as a surface broadcast; (iii) 20 kg ha−1 applied as a banded starter, 5 cm to the side and 5 cm below the seed; or (iv) 20 kg ha−1 applied in a deep placed band, 13 to 15 cm on 0.7-m centers. The one-time moldboard plowing produced higher early season dry matter yields for corn (Zea mays L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] compared with the no-tillage system, but tillage effects on final grain yield were inconsistent. Subsurface placement of P generally increased P uptake and grain yield of corn and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], but had little effect on grain yield of soybean. Results indicate that subsurface applications of P fertilizers should be considered if soil test P is highly stratified within the surface 0- to 15-cm layer and the 15-cm composite is medium or below for available P.

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