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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Tillage Impacts on Soil Property, Runoff, and Soil Loss Variations from a Rhodic Paleudult under Simulated Rainfall

Authors
item Truman, Clinton
item Reeves, Donald
item Shaw, J - AUBURN UNIV.
item Motta, A - AUBURN UNIV.
item Burmester, C - AUBURN UNIV.
item Donoghue, Ann
item Schwab, Eric

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 9, 2003
Publication Date: October 20, 2003
Citation: Truman, C.C., Reeves, D.W., Shaw, J.N., Motta, A., Burmester, C.H., Raper, R.L., Schwab, E.B. 2003. Tillage impacts on soil property, runoff, and soil loss variations from a rhodic paleudult under simulated rainfall. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation Society. 58(5):258-267.

Interpretive Summary: Tennessee River Valley soils have been managed under conventional tilage (CT), and are considered highly erodible. We evaluated runoff and soil loss from a Decatur silt loam cropped to cotton and managed under CT and no-till (NST) in Nov., 1999 and June, 2000. Tillages evaluated were CT without fall paratilling (FPT) and without cover (CT-FPT, NC), NST without FPT and without cover (NST-FPT, NC), NST without FPT and with cover (NST-FPT, C), and NST with FPT and with cover (NST+FPT, C). Plots (1% slope, 1x1 m) on each tillage received simulated rainfall (50 mm/h for 2 h). NST plots had 13% more porosity than CT plots. NST plots had 21% and 123% more runoff than CT plots for 11/99 and 6/00, respectively. For 11/99 and 6/00 events, NST+FPT, C plots had the lowest runoff. NST plots had 2 and 4.5 times less soil loss than CT plots in 11/99 and 6/00, respectively. CT-FPT, NC plots had at least 50% more runoff and soil loss in the spring rainfall simulation compared to the fall simulation. For NST+FPT, C plots, runoff and soil losses decreased by at least 4- and 3-fold respectively in 6/00 compared to those for 11/99. Paratilling NST plots reduced runoff by at least 67% in 11/99 and by at least 215% in 6/00 compared to NST-FPT plots. FPT effectiveness decreased with time since paratilling. The worst-case scenario was the CT-FPT, NC, whereas the best-case scenario was the NST+FPT, C.

Technical Abstract: Conservation tillage (NST) is a viable management tool for row crop production because it conserves soil and water resources. We evaluated runoff and soil loss from a Decatur silt loam cropped to cotton and managed under conventional- (CT) and NST during Nov., 1999 and June, 2000. Tillages evaluated were CT without fall paratilling (FPT) and without cover (CT-FPT, NC), NST without FPT and without cover (NST-FPT, NC), NST without FPT and with cover (NST-FPT, C), and NST with FPT and with cover (NST+FPT, C). Plots (1% slope, 1x1 m) on each tillage received simulated rainfall (50 mm h-1 for 2 h). NST plots had 92% and 42% more SOC than CT plots in 11/99 and 6/00, respectively. SOC values for the 0-1 cm soil layer were 123% greater for NST plots than for CT plots. NST plots had 13% more porosity in the soil surface than CT plots. NST plots had 21% and 123% more runoff than CT plots for 11/99 and 6/00, respectively. NST plots had 2 and 4.5 times less soil loss than CT plots in 11/99 and 6/00, respectively. CT-FPT, NC plots had at least 50% more runoff and soil loss in the spring compared to the fall simulation. For NST+FPT, C plots, runoff and soil losses decreased by at least 4- and 3-fold respectively in the spring simulation compared to corresponding values for the fall simulation. FPT reduced runoff by at least 67% (11/99) and by at least 215% (6/00) compared to NST-FPT plots. FPT effectiveness decreased with time.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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