Soil Water Evaporation Comparisons Among Tillage Practices in the Northern Great Plains1
- J. K. Aase and
- D. L. Tanaka2
Our objective was to investigate if any one of four tillage practices studied is more efficient than another for conserving soil water in the top 0.1 m of a soil profile during the mid-summer months of fallow in the northern Great Plains. The study was conducted on a Williams loam (fine-loamy mixed, Typic Argiboroll) 11 km northwest of Sidney, MT. Tthe treatments, replicated three times, were: (i) bare fallow, (ii) stubble-mulch fallow, (iii) chemical fallow-mixed standing and flat residue, and (iv) chemical fallow-flat residue. At the outset there were 3500 and 1100 kg/ha of standing and flat residue, respectively. Following rains >3 mm and one 40-mm irrigation, three soil cores were taken to a 0.1-m depth from each plot at predetermined intervals and composited. The most rapid initial drying occurred on bare fallow plots, generally followed by stubble-mulch fallow plots, standing and flat straw plots, and flat straw plots. The average initial drying rates were about 1.9, 1.8, 1.4, and 1.2 mm/d, respectively. Differences due to treatments no longer existed after about 10 d. The data, as well as data from two precision weighing lysimeters (one bare-fallowed and the other chemically-fallowed), suggest that soil water evaporation during the summer months in the northern Great Plains is about the same from all tillage treatments tested.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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