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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Decomposition of Wheat and Thistle Residue

Authors
item Douglas Jr, Clyde
item Albrecht, Stephan
item Johlke, Tami
item Skirvin, Katherine
item Baker, Amelia

Submitted to: Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Annual Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This study evaluated the decomposition rate of Russian thistle and compared it to the decomposition rate of winter wheat during the same period. Russian thistle and wheat residue decomposes at approximately the same rate. Therefore, thistle and wheat residue should have approximately the same potential for controlling soil erosion for the same length of time.

Technical Abstract: Winter wheat (triticum aestivum L.) grain and residue yields are often low in the traditional winter wheat/summerfallow areas of the intermountain Pacific Northwest. Often, there is insufficient residue left on the soil surface after harvest to control soil erosion. Russian thistle (Salsola iberica Sennen) is also a problem. There may be more thistle residue than wheat residue left after harvest. Thistle residue could be helpful in controlling soil erosion, however, we don't know the decomposition rate of thistle. This study evaluated the decomposition rate of Russian thistle and compared it to the decomposition rate of winter wheat during the same period. Russian thistle and wheat residue decomposes at approximately the same rate. Therefore, thistle and wheat residue has approximately the same potential over the same time span for erosion control.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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