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Soil Moisture Regimes of Three Conservation Tillage Systems

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASAE. 27 (5): 1385-1390. (doi: 10.13031/2013.32975) @1984
Authors:   M. D. Johnson, B. Lowery, T. C. Daniel

ABSTRACT COMPARISON of three conservation tillage systems, chisel plowing (CH), till-plant (TP) and no-till (NT), to conventional moldboard plowing (CN) indicates soil moisture advantages with conservation tillage vary. Volumetric water content (3-year average, 0-76 mm depth) at planting was 0.324, 0.279, 0.267 and 0.246 m^m-^ for NT, CH, TP, and CN, respectively. Average 3-year water content in the 0-0.25 m zone for weekly measurements during the growing season was 0.320, 0.309, 0.300, and 0.297 m^m^ for NT, CH, CN and TP, respectively. Soil moisture was higher in the NT treatment during most of the growing period. However, during a heavy rain period (93 mm), profile recharge in the CN, TP and NT treatments was 34, 34 and 44% less than for the CH treatment, respectively. Less water was removed from the 0.50-1.0 m zone of NT during extensive water depletion. For this soil with a 6-% slope, the NT treatment displayed the least water fluctuation during drying periods.

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