Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 9, 2005
Publication Date: November 6, 2005
Citation: Locke, M.A., Zablotowicz, R.M., Dabney, S.M., Steinriede Jr, R.W., Reddy, K.N. 2005. Cotton production in a mississippi delta conservation management system. American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. 97:146-1, Salt Lake City, UT. Technical Abstract: A study was established near Stoneville, MS, in Fall 2000 to evaluate cover crop and reduced tillage in irrigated transgenic cotton. The study was a split-split plot arrangement of tillage (reduced or RT, no-tillage or NT) as main effect and cover crop (rye, balansa clover, none) as split effects. Reduced tillage consisted of reforming beds after harvest and planting into stale seed-beds in the spring. Rye cover crop was planted (67 kg ha-1) in the fall after bed preparation or crop harvest from 2000 to 2003. Balansa was planted (9 kg ha-1) at the same time in Fall 2000 and was allowed to develop until seed formation in Spring 2001. Balansa cover crop was established in subsequent years using the seed bank from the initial seeding. Rye was allowed to develop until milk stage and was then killed with herbicide. Clover was killed after flowering, but not later than two weeks before planting cotton, except for 2001 to allow seeds to develop. Cotton lint yields under NT management tended to be either equal to or greater than in RT (2001-2004). Similarly, rye cover had equal to or higher cotton lint yields than no-cover. However, balansa clover cover tended to have the lowest yields regardless of tillage system, perhaps due to more difficulty in crop establishment. Weed control was similar for all systems under the Roundup Ready® cotton management. Conservation management production systems will require farmers to maintain closer observation and have a greater knowledge of their crop development, weed occurrence, and soil conditions. This higher management intensity should ultimately result in benefits such as lower input costs, improvement of soil resources, and enhanced environmental quality.