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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 60 No. 4, p. 1217-1222
    Received: May 16, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Vegetation Management and Interrill Erosion in No-Till Corn Following Alfalfa

  1. A. V. Gallagher ,
  2. N. C. Wollenhaupt and
  3. A. H. Bosworth
  1. Woodlands/Union Camp, 200 Jensen Rd., Prattville, AL 36067
    Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706-1299



No-till corn (Zea mays L.) following alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is recommended for reducing soil erosion; however, killing alfalfa in the fall may result in insufficient crop residue cover for Conservation Compliance soil erosion goals. We hypothesized that soil conservation effectiveness was related to burn-down spray date and final harvest date influence on cover. A Wisconsin field study to test this hypothesis included fall and spring burn-down spray dates in combination with either August or September final alfalfa harvests. Soils included Plano and Saybrook silt loams (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Argiudolls) on 2 to 9% slopes and Palsgrove silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludalf) and Reedsburg silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, mesic Aquic Paleudalf) on 7 to 14% slopes. Simulated rainfall (72 mm h−1 for 1 h) was applied following corn planting. The fall spray-September harvest (FS-SH) averaged 25% residue cover, measured after planting, with soil loss of 257 g m−2. The spring spray-August harvest (SS-AH) averaged 79% residue cover and 24 g m−2 soil loss. Of the 72 mm of rain applied on each of the treatments, 34 mm ran off the two FS treatments, 23 mm ran off the SS-SH treatments, and 19 mm ran off the SS-AH treatments. Treatment runoff amounts and final infiltration rates related in part to surface macroporosity and surface sealing. Fall herbicide application resulted in too little residue cover to adequately reduce soil erosion.

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