Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 3, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Winter broccoli (Brassica oleracea, L. Botrytis Group) production was evaluated under three tillage systems, conventional (CT), minimum tillage (MT), and no-till (NT), which were established in August 1994. After three growing seasons, marketable yields were similar among tillage systems, but plant densities at harvest were lower in the NT system compared to the CT grown broccoli plants. No-till-grown broccoli heads compensated for stand differences by producing slightly larger heads (P=0.17). The percentage of marketable yield at the first harvest relative to the total yield was not affected by tillage practice. Floret NO3, chlorophyll, and carotenoid concentrations were reduced when grown by conservation tillage (MT and NT). At the end of the third growing season, the amount of germinable seeds in the upper 0-5 cm of soil was highest in the NT soil. Total plant weed populations were higher in conservation tilled soil. Total N, K, and Mg concentrations in the upper 30 cm soil profile were highest in the NT system. Total C and N, K, Mg, and P nutrient gradients were greatest in NT soil. Upper soil profile Na concentrations were highest in soils subjected to CT. Minimum tillage responses were generally intermediate to those of CT and NT.