An Evaluation of Tillage Practices for Winter Wheat in the Semiarid Region of Southwestern Kansas1
- Homer A. Brady2
Three methods of seedbed preparation for winter wheat (stubble-mulch tillage, one-way disking, and moldboard plowing) were evaluated for the semiarid region of southwestern Kansas. Although fallow is recommended for the area, both continuous cropping and wheat-fallow sequences were used in the comparison. Measurements of grain yield, soil moisture, evaporation from soil, soil temperature, soil nitrate, and notes concerning runoff and erosion by wind and water were included.
Subsurface tillage effectively controlled erosion by wind and water. Differences in the other factors tested were not statistically significant. On fallowed land slightly higher average yields were produced by one-waying than subsurface tillage or plowing. Subsurface tillage gave the highest yields on continuous cropping. Visual observations indicated that runoff was less from subsurface tillage plots but higher evaporation under the residue mulch left moisture levels nearly equal. Soil temperature averaged slightly higher under a stubble mulch; the soil warmed more slowly in the spring and cooled more slowly in the fall. Nitrate levels were highest on plowed, somewhat lower on one-wayed, and least on subtilled plots. Free nitrate levels were considered an indication of the rate of decomposition of organic matter.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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