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Impact of Sugarcane Fallow Management Strategies on Water Quality and Plant Yield
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2015 ASABE Annual International Meeting 152177028.(doi:10.13031/aim.20152177028)
Authors: Richard L. Bengtson, Kenneth Gravois
Keywords: sugarcane, soil erosion, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium
Abstract. Sugarcane lands in Louisiana are usually managed in 4-yr rotations. The crop is usually planted in September. The crop grows until frost. It starts growing again in the spring and will be harvester in the October to December period. Two ratoon crops are grown and then 11 months of fallow to control weeds and diseases. Three management strategies are used by sugarcane growers during the fallow year. They are fall fallow, spring fallow, and no till. With fall fallow practice, the fields are cultivated soon after harvest in the fall. The fields are cultivated when the fields dry in the spring. They are cultivated periodically to control vegetation growth until the fields are planted in September. With the spring practice, the fields are cultivated when the fields dry in the spring and are cultivated periodically to control vegetation growth until the fields are planted in September. With no till, the vegetation is controlled by spraying periodically with herbicide. The fields are not cultivated until they are prepared for planting in September. No Till produced the smallest amount of soil loss. Spring Fallow was second and was 36% larger than the No Till. The Fall Fallow had the largest soil loss which was 79% larger than the No Till. Since the No Till is not cultivated until just before planting, the plant roots hold the soil. Fall Fallow is cultivated in the fall. The roots decay over the winter and there is nothing to hold the soil when spring rainfall arrives. No Till has the largest nutrient losses with Fall Fallow second and Spring Fallow the lowest.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)