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Tillage effects on soil strength and crop growth for Red River clay

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

Citation:   No Citation available.
Authors:   Y Yang, Y Chen, S Rahman
Keywords:   tillage, no-tillage, sub-soiling, soil, moisture, cone index, seeding, plant, biomass, yield

A field study was carried out from 2003 to 2005 to investigate different tillage systems for poorly drained Red River clay soil. The field experiment included three tillage treatments: No-tillage, conventional tillage, and sub-soiling. Soil properties (soil strength and soil moisture content) and crop performance (speed of emergence, plant population, seeding depth, plant biomass, weed biomass, and yield) were measured to compare the tillage systems. As compared with the conventional tillage, the no-tillage resulted higher soil moisture content. Mixed results were obtained in soil strength (cone index) when comparing these two tillage systems. In general, the crop performance of these two tillage systems was comparable. When compared to the conventional tillage, the sub-soiling gave lower soil moisture content, which could be an advantage for wet years. Sub-soiling significantly reduced the soil strength, which could favour better water infiltration and root penetration. As a result of these advantages, sub-soiling significantly improved the crop emergence.

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