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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Differences of Soil Water Use, Lint and Biomass Yield in No-Till and Conventionally Tilled Cotton in the Southern Piedmont

Authors
item Endale, Dinku
item Radcliffe, D - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Steiner, Jean
item Cabrera, M - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Mccracken, D - CONSULTANT, BREMAN GA
item Vencille, B - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Lhor, L - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Harper, Lowry

Submitted to: Georgia Water Resources Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Reduced tillage as a production option is drawing increased attention nationwide. It promises to save producers money in the short term and provide long-term benefits for their land and the environment. In three years of research on a Cecil soil of Southern Piedmont near Watkinsville, GA no-till cotton production out-yielded a conventional tillage system by approximately 30 percent. Differences were even larger (almost 50%) between a combination of no-till and poultry litter treatment and that of conventional-tillage-conventional fertilizer. Rye was used as cover crop in all management systems. The Piedmont, despite its abundant precipitation, often suffers short-term droughts with detrimental effect on crop yield. Cotton is a major crop in Georgia but most is grown under conventional tillage and conventional fertilizer. Our research indicates that no-till systems are better users of available moisture and can provide added insurance against crop failure during drought-prone periods. More efficient water use also leads to better yield in normal years. A combination of no-till and poultry litter management system appears an even more efficient user of soil water. Poultry is a multi billion dollar industry in Georgia but with huge waste management problems. Poultry waste can efficiently be used to enhance cotton yield.

Technical Abstract: Reduced tillage as a production option is drawing increased attention nationwide. It promises to save producers money in the short term and provide long-term benefits for their land and the environment. In three years of research on a Cecil soil of Southern Piedmont near Watkinsville, GA no-till cotton production out-yielded a conventional tillage system by approximately 30 percent. Differences were even larger (almost 50%) between a combination of no-till and poultry litter treatment and that of conventional-tillage-conventional fertilizer. Rye was used as cover crop in all management systems. The Piedmont, despite its abundant precipitation, often suffers short-term droughts with detrimental effect on crop yield. Cotton is a major crop in Georgia but most is grown under conventional tillage and conventional fertilizer. Our research indicates that no-till systems are better users of available moisture and can provide added insurance against crop failure during drought-prone periods. More efficient water use also leads to better yield in normal years. A combination of no-till and poultry litter management system appears an even more efficient user of soil water. Poultry is a multi billion dollar industry in Georgia but with huge waste management problems. Poultry waste can efficiently be used to enhance cotton yield.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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