OJSS  Vol.5 No.8 , August 2015
Corn and Soybean Responses to Two Tillage Systems in a Cool Growing Season
ABSTRACT
A field study in 2014 documented corn and soybean biomass and nutrient responses between conventional-till and no-till tillage systems at Beresford, SD during cooler than normal weather conditions with adequate soil moisture. The overall study was established in 1992. Each treatment plot was monitored weekly from June to August for soil moisture, temperature, and plant growth stages. Biomass was harvested during and at the end of the growing season for yield and nutrient content. Soil moisture measured throughout the early and middle part of the growing season was determined to be sufficient for crop growth, since precipitation was much greater than normal in June (33.2 cm). However, air temperature was below normal early in the growing season and lowered Growing Degree Days (939°C) compared to the 30-year average (139°C). Soil temperatures (5 cm depth) were not significant between tillage treatments in the corn plots during the growing season for 12 observation dates (range 16.3°C - 28.0°C). Plant growth was not significantly different between tillage treatments, reflecting the lack of soil temperature differences (5 cm depth) between tillage treatments. The mid-season plant tissue and crop residue at harvest nutrient content (P, K, and Zn) were not significant between tillage treatments. Corn grain yields were 10.3 T·ha-1 and 10.1 T·ha-1 for conventional tillage and no-till, respectively. Soybean grain yields were 3.9 T·ha-1 and 3.3 T·ha-1 for conventional tillage and no-till, respectively. These results would more than likely have been much different in a warmer growing season, when soil temperature and moisture differences between tillage treatments would likely stimulate crop growth in the conventional-tilled soil. This would have also increased nutrient uptake and grain yield levels to greater degree than observed in this study.
KEYWORDS
Tillage, Corn, Soybean

Cite this paper
Nielsen, J. and Woodard, H. (2015) Corn and Soybean Responses to Two Tillage Systems in a Cool Growing Season. Open Journal of Soil Science, 5, 157-168. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2015.58016.
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