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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Seasonal Comparisons of Water Use Rates among Tillage Systems

Authors
item Hatfield, Jerry
item Prueger, John
item Sauer, Thomas

Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 3, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Water use differences among tillage systems are important because of the impact of variable rainfall on crop yield and water use efficiency. There have been relatively few comparisons of water use in the Corn Belt and this study was undertaken to compare daily water use among tillage systems currently used in corn-soybean rotations. This study commenced in 1991 and continued through 1994 in fields located within the Walnut Creek watershed south of Ames, IA. Bowen ratio equipment was placed in each field to measure the energy fluxes for the growing season. No-till and ridge-tillage practices were water conserving in the spring of 1992 and 1994 and provided more available water to the crop when rainfall was deficient later in the season. In the high rainfall springs of 1991 and 1993, there was more water storage in these two practices; however, the differences were not as large. Conservation tillage practices will increase water use efficiency in the Corn Belt because of more reliable water supplies to the crop during the growing season.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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