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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Effects of Cultivation on Some Soil Physical Properties and on Potato and Corn Yields1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 19 No. 4, p. 400-403
    Received: Oct 1, 1954

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  1. G. R. Blake and
  2. R. J. Aldrich2



Field corn and potatoes were cultivated 0 to 3 times and 0 to 5 or 7, respectively for 3 years, to determine the best level of cultivation for each crop. Weeds were controlled with chemicals so that the noncultivated plots were neither hoed nor scraped. One cultivation for corn or one or two for potatoes gave virtually as high yields as any greater number. All amounts of cultivation gave higher yields than none at all.

Excessive cultivation resulted in lower air space and aggregation and higher bulk density though these differences were not always significant. Cultivation and sprayer traffic was shown to result in a generally lower potassium content of potato leaves. This is believed related to the lower air space found under these conditions.

Soil moisture tensions show that some of the benefit from cultivation may result from conservation of moisture. They also indicate that while weeds compete for moisture, this alone does not account for higher yields where weeds are controlled by cultivation.

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