Submitted to: Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2002
Publication Date: June 24, 2002
Citation: Schomberg, H.H., Langdale, G.W., Franzluebbers, A.J., Lamb, M.C. Comparison of tillage type and frequency for cotton on piedmont soil. Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture. 2002. 95:1281-1287. Technical Abstract: In-row chisel (IC) and paratill (PT) tillages disrupt consolidated soil zones and improve rooting capacity. Compaction disrupting tillages increase costs of farm operations because of the need for more powerful tractors and greater fuel use. The need for continuous or less frequent disrupting tillages for cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) production was determined in a typic Kanhapludult soil. Lint yields of IC were 15 to 20% greater than conventional disk tillage (DT) two out of three years. In 1994, yields ranged from 480 to 750 lb/ac (0.53 to 0.84 Mg/ha) with few differences among treatments. In 1995, cotton yields ranged from 830 to 1150 lb/ac (0.92 to 1.29 Mg/ha) with the top yield associated with current year IC. In 1996, the fifth year of the study, no significant differences in yields were observed among tillages; however, two of the top five yields were IC treatments. For the three cotton years, continuous IC plots out yielded DT and had numerically greater yields than continuous PT and secondary tillage (ST). PT, ST, and DT yields were similar. Average annual net returns from continuous IC were 179, 154, and 113 $ ac-1 greater than those from continuous DT, PT, and ST, respectively. In-row chisel appears to be a more economically viable production practice for heavy Piedmont soils with consolidated zones because of its lower energy requirement and greater cotton yield response compared to PT.