Infiltration and Erosion as Affected by Minimum Tillage for Corn (Zea mays L.)1
- J. V. Mannering,
- L. D. Meyer and
- C. B. Johnson2
Minimum tillage for corn substantially increased infiltration and reduced soil erosion during a 5-year study on a sloping, silt loam soil in Indiana. These results were obtained under high-intensity, simulated rainfall with rows and tillage parallel to the slope. Infiltration averaged 24% greater and soil loss averaged 34% less from minimum tillage treatments than from conventional treatments. The different forms of minimum tillage tested, including plow-plant (with and without a trailing harrow) and wheel-track plant, resulted in about the same amount of erosion control. Erosion comparisons were made on first, third, and fifth year of corn following several years of alfalfa (medicago sativa) orchardgrass (dactylis glomerata) meadow. The relative erosion-reducing effectiveness of minimum tillage as compared with conventional tillage declined from 44% to 34% to 27% during this period. Destruction of surface crusts by cultivation greatly reduced both soil and water losses throughout the remainder of the crop year. Soil aggregation, organic matter content, and porosity were slightly higher on minimum tillage plots than on conventional plots after 5 years of treatment. Three tons per acre of dry hay used as surface mulch applied after the first cultivation essentially eliminated soil and water losses during the remainder of the crop season. The mulch also effected major reductions in soil and water losses in the succeeding year.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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