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Site-Specific Subsoiling Benefits for Cotton Productio

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

Citation:  Paper number  051025,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19881) @2005
Authors:   R.L. Raper, D.W. Reeves, J.N. Shaw, E. van Santen, P.L. Mask
Keywords:   Site-specific, precision agriculture, subsoiling, soil compaction, draft, drawbar power

The negative impacts of soil compaction on crop yields can often be alleviated by subsoiling. However, this subsoiling operation is often conducted at unnecessarily deep depths where it wastes energy and disturbs surface residue necessary for erosion control and improved soil quality. A corn (Zea mays L.)-cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) rotation experiment was conducted over four years on a Coastal Plain soil with a hardpan in east-central Alabama to evaluate the potential for site-specific subsoiling (tilling just deep enough to eliminate the hardpan layer) to improve crop yields while conserving energy. Seed cotton yield showed benefits of subsoiling compared to the no-subsoiling treatment. Site-specific subsoiling produced yields equivalent to deep subsoiling while not excessively disturbing surface soil and residues. Significant reductions in draft force and drawbar power were found for site-specific subsoiling as compared to uniform deep subsoiling. Producers in the Coastal Plains who can determine the depth of their root-impeding layer and can provide site-specific subsoiling to loosen compacted soil profiles should have comparable yields and reduced energy requirements as those producers implementing uniform deep subsoiling.

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