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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Cotton Yield Potential with Conservation Tillage in the Southeastern Usa.

Authors
item Endale, Dinku
item Steiner, Jean
item Cabrera, M - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Radcliffe, D - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Vencill, W - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Schomberg, Harry

Submitted to: Soil Tillage Research Organization International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 7, 2000
Publication Date: February 7, 2000

Interpretive Summary: There is a national drive in the USA to have 50% of the cropped area under conservation tillage by 2002. Conservation tillage is any tillage and planting system, such as no-till, that leaves 30% or more of crop residue on the soil surface after planting. Benefits credited to conservation tillage include soil and water conservation, lower production costs and greater production efficiency. The southeastern USA has generally lagged behind the Great Plains states in adoption of this technology. Much of the row-crop agriculture in the Southeast, including cotton, a dominant crop, is conventionally tilled and fertilized. The Southeast also produces large amounts of litter from the economically important poultry industry, some of which can beneficially be used as fertilizer. In three years of research near Watkinsville, GA, we found that lint yield from the no-till exceeded that from the conventional tillage cotton by 28%. Poultry litter produced 11% more lint than conventional fertilizer. Yield from no-till cotton fertilized with poultry litter exceeded that from conventional tillage fertilized with ammonium nitrate by 43%. Cotton production in the Southeast could be enhanced by using no-till and fertilizing with poultry litter instead of tilling and fertilizing conventionally.

Technical Abstract: There is a national drive in the USA to have 50% of the cropped area under conservation tillage by 2002. The southeastern USA has generally lagged behind the Great Plains states in adoption of this technology. Much of the row-crop agriculture in the Southeast, including cotton (Gossipium hirsutum L.), is conventionally tilled and fertilized. We conducted three years of research, beginning in 1996, to evaluate the performance of cotton under no-till, as conservation tillage, vs conventional tillage and fertilized with ammonium nitrate, as conventional fertilizer vs poultry litter to highlight management options for increased adoption of conservation tillage. The research was carried out at the USDA-ARS facility near Watkinsville, GA on a Cecil sandy loam (Clayey, kaolinitic thermic Typic Kanhapludults). Lint yield from the no-till exceeded that from the conventional tillage cotton by 28% over three years (P = 0.0002). Fertilizing with poultry litter produced 11% more lint (P= 0.046) than wit conventional fertilizer. Yield from no-till cotton fertilized with poultry litter exceeded that from conventional tillage fertilized with ammonium nitrate by 43% (P = 0.0003). Cotton production in the Southeast could be enhanced by using no-till and fertilizing with poultry litter instead of tilling and fertilizing conventionally.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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