Infiltration Characteristics under No-Till and Clean-Till Furrow Irrigation
- N. B. Christensen ,
- T. L. Jones and
- G. J. Kauta
Tillage or the lack of tillage affects infiltration and its variability across the field. To quantify infiltration characteristics of soil under no-till and clean-till furrow irrigated systems, a 3-yr rotation of wheat (Tritium aestivum L.)-sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]-fallow on a Pullman sandy clay loam soil (fine, mixed, thermic Torrentic Paleustoll) was initiated. Treatments were no-till and clean-till with or without wheel traffic. Soil water contents, water advance times down the furrow, wetted cross-sectional area of flow, and cumulative furrow infiltration during three irrigations for each cropping event were determined. No-till treatments conserved significantly more soil water (3.0 cm) during the fallow periods than clean-till. Average water advance times to the end of the field were 301 and 175 min for no-till and clean-till, respectively. Wheel traffic significantly decreased advance times, by a factor of 1.98, during the initial irrigations at planting with no effect on subsequent irrigations. Wetted cross-sectional area in no-till furrows was significantly greater than in clean-till during sorghum irrigations, averaging 0.0206 and 0.0093 m2, respectively. However, these factors did not contribute to a consistent increase in infiltration in the no-till treatments. Grain yields for sorghum were significantly greater in no-till than clean-till: 4147 and 3584 kg ha−1, respectively, but clean-till wheat yields (5414 kg ha−1) were significantly greater than no-till yields (4657 kg ha−1). No-till conserved more water during the fallow periods, but surface characteristics of planting wheat no-till in sorghum residue may decrease uniformity over long furrows.
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